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Nevada panel considers health standards and sanctions

AP/San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 2008

Nevada Health Division Administrator Richard Whitley has told lawmakers that new laws could streamline oversight and responses to a public health threat such as the hepatitis C outbreak that prompted a massive patient notification effort earlier this year. Officials should be able to issue cease-and-desist orders if they believe the public is at risk from a practice or procedure at an outpatient clinic or hospital, and health facilities should be penalized for not "self-reporting" problems, Whitley said. The state's Legislative Committee on Health Care is considering introducing a series of measures during the 2009 Legislature to revamp the reporting and handling of community health problems.