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The high-risk disease notification and prevention program. Role of personal physicians.
Ann NY Acad Sci 1989 Dec; 572:130-132
Some implications of the High-Risk, Disease Notification and Prevention bills for personal physicians and how these implications may affect the preventive focus of the bills were discussed. Three topics were reviewed: the role of the personal physician in the notification program; payment for medical services; and training for nonoccupational physicians. Medical students and physicians often have been found to know little about occupational medicine. Under these bills, physicians determine whether or not diseases are present or if in a particular individual a heightened likelihood of disease is present. Previous versions of the bill gave the employee's physician the power to authorize removal of the patient from the job. The author suggests that this power should never rest with a personal physician, but rather be vested in the employer, a regulatory administrator, a court and perhaps the employee. The issue of payment for medical services was particularly in question when it concerns medical monitoring services. Employees whose high risk resulted from exposures while employed by their present employer are to be covered by the employer for medical monitoring. Employees whose high risk resulted from exposure while employed by past employers are to be covered in a cost sharing mechanism between the present employer and the employee. Retirees are not mentioned in either bill which may indicate that they are to pay for their own medical monitoring. The third issue, training for nonoccupational physicians was addressed in the bills through the establishment of centers of excellence in occupational health whose function would be to perform medical monitoring and train others to do the same.
NIOSH-Publication; Legislation; Occupational-diseases; Industrial-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Risk-factors; Regulations; Worker-health; Industrial-health-programs; Occupational-medicine
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division