CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 669, the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act, under a suspension of the rules. H.R. 669 was introduced on February 13, 2013 by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote.
H.R. 669 directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to continue to carry out activities of the Centers relating to stillbirth. This includes directing the Secretary of HHS to provide for surveillance efforts to collect thorough, complete, and high-quality epidemiologic information on stillbirths; and to provide for the continued development and dissemination of a standard protocol for stillbirth data collection and surveillance (to be updated every 5 years). Moreover, the Secretary would be required to review existing guidelines for increasing and improving the quality and completeness of postmortem stillbirth evaluation and data every 5 years, and develop strategies for implementing such guidelines.
This legislation also directs the Secretary to continue to carry out activities related to sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), including: providing for surveillance efforts; developing a standard protocol for the investigation of death scenes; and developing guidelines for a standard autopsy protocol. The Secretary would be required, in consultation with the Attorney General of the United States, to conduct and support training activities for medical examiners, coroners, investigators and law enforcement personnel, and make recommendations to health profession organizations regarding the integration of protocols developed under this act into existing training and continuing education programs.
H.R. 669 also directs the Secretary to continue to carry out activities of the CDC related to sudden unexpected death in childhood (SUDC). This includes surveillance efforts; guidelines for standard autopsy protocol; and a review of the applicability of programs and activities undertaken by the CDC. Within two years of enactment of the Act, the Secretary is required to submit a report to Congress on the activities relating to stillbirth, SUID, and SUDC.
“Fatal death or stillbirth occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy in about 1 in 160 pregnancies.” Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), which occurs in infants less than 1 year, kills approximately 4,000 infants every year. Sudden Unexplained Death in Children (SUDC) occurs in children over 12 months, and has an incidence rate of about 1.2 deaths per 100,000 children. The causes of these incidences remain unknown and relatively unexplored. The CDC collects data on stillbirth, SUID, and SUDC through surveillance systems to identify the problems and risk factors. H.R. 669 authorizes activities at the CDC to help improve the understanding of these issues, increase surveillance, and set guidelines and protocols for death scene investigations.
 Committee Report 113-557, at 4.
 See Id.
 See Id.
 See Id. at 5.
 See Id. at 5.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 669 would not have a significant effect on direct spending or revenues.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.