The federal health program established to provide medical evaluation and treatment for eligible responders and survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been on the books for a year.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 also reopened the Victims Compensation Fund.
The legislation was named for a New York police officer who died from a respiratory illness attributed to breathing toxic dust at ground zero.
The World Trade Center Health Program is run through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH reports the following actions were taken during the program's first year:
- Awarded contracts to seven clinical centers of excellence for medical monitoring and treatment for responders and health evaluation and treatment to survivors.
- Awarded contracts to three data centers to receive, analyze, and report on data associated with health effects associated with the attacks.
- Established a toll-free call center to provide information for program applicants and others.
- Launched a website about the WTC Health Program.
- Developed program enrollment applications and a process to determine eligibility for program membership based on criteria specified in the Zadroga Act.
- Researched various responder experience to develop eligibility criteria.
- Developed a health condition certification review process to certify such claims for payment by the payment contractors.
- Established a consolidated pharmacy benefits management system for the program.
- Published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing procedures to add new health conditions to the list of World Trade Center-related health conditions.
The act provides monies for specific illnesses, such as asthma and other respiratory diseases. Last summer NIOSH announced there was insufficient evidence to conclude that debris from the collapse of the towers caused cancer in responders.
The news meant rescue and recovery workers with cancers were not eligible to collect federal money for treatment or compensation. The next review of the scientific and medical evidence related to cancer for the program is expected later this year.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.