Federal Funding Expires Friday – Act Now to Support NIH
Funding for the federal government runs out this Friday unless Congress passes, and the president signs into law, a funding bill for the current fiscal year (FY) 2017. It is a “shutdown showdown” and the Society encourages all US members to join our online advocacy campaign urging Congress to pass a funding bill that includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As we head into final congressional negotiations, it appears that Congress may pass a one week “continuing resolution” (CR) to keep the federal government open beyond Friday while they finalize the text of a funding package. However, several other options for FY 17 remain on the table:
The Congress agrees on an omnibus appropriations bill that funds the government and includes significant increases in funding for the NIH.
The Congress is unable to agree on a spending package, resulting in a government shutdown.
The Congress is able to agree on a spending package, but is unable to override a veto from President Trump, should the administration feel that the spending bill fails to adequately address administration priorities, resulting in a government shutdown.
The Congress passes a full-year CR that funds the government at the previous FY level.
The Congress passes a spending bill that includes severe cuts to non-defense discretionary spending in order to increase defense spending, in alignment with the Trump administration priorities.
With only two days left before the deadline, there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the status of negotiations. While Republicans have a majority in both the House and Senate, competing priorities between the conservative House Freedom Caucus and centrist Republicans could derail negotiations and cause a shutdown if they are unable to gather the support of any Democrats. It is also unclear whether the Trump administration will exercise a veto, and under what circumstances.
The Endocrine Society and the entire biomedical research community has consistently argued that the NIH requires steady sustainable increases in funding to recover losses in purchasing power due to the increasing costs of biomedical research. It is critical that elected representatives hear from their constituents about the need to complete work on a final appropriations package that includes increases for NIH.
Take Action: We urge all US members of the Endocrine Society to contact their elected representatives using the Endocrine Society's NIH advocacy campaign at the following link: Support NIH Funding. Taking action is quick and easy. You only need to enter your home address OR your email and member ID and our software will generate a letter and send it to your Representative and Senators.
On Saturday, April 22, Endocrine Society members and staff joined an estimated 40,000 researchers and advocates on the National Mall in Washington DC, and marched to the Capitol to support public funding for science research and evidence based policy making. In addition to the March for Science in DC, Society members joined many of the over 600 satellite marches around the world, reflecting the robust global support for science that advances knowledge and improves our lives.
While the march represents an important milestone for research advocacy, long-term success of the march will depend on the ability of research advocates to maintain momentum and engage with policymakers on a regular basis. To transform the energy of the march into outcomes, organizers of the March for Science have created a week of action to help the community stay connected, promote science, and continue to advocate for research. Our Endocrine Society advocacy campaign and toolkit is featured on the website along with a joint statement we signed with AAAS and other leading scientific societies applauding the March for Science.
CMS Requests Information on Flexibilities and Efficiencies
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Inpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule, which sets payment policy for inpatient services, and included a request for information on administrative burdens. The public is invited to submit ideas for regulatory, sub-regulatory, policy, practice, and procedural changes to reduce unnecessary burdens for clinicians, other providers, and patients and their families. CMS’ goal is to increase quality of care, lower costs, improve program integrity, and make the health care system more effective, simple and accessible. Ideas could include:
Payment system redesign
Elimination or streamlining of reporting
Monitoring and documentation requirements
Aligning Medicare requirements and processes with those from Medicaid and other payers
Feedback mechanisms and data sharing that would enhance patient care
Support of the physician-patient relationship in care delivery
Facilitation of individual preferences
Take Action: We are collecting examples from our members about regulatory requirements that they find particularly burdensome or think could be achieved in a more efficient manner. Please send your suggestions, along with your ideas for a solution, by May 5, 2016 to Stephanie Kutler, Director, Advocacy & Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review the suggestions and develop a response to CMS. Individual responses may also be sent directly to CMS through www.regulations.gov (search for CMS-1677-P) by June 13, 2017.
EXTENSION: Harold Vigersky Practicing Physician Travel Award: Applications Due June 1
The Society is now accepting applications for the Harold Vigersky Practicing Physician Travel Award. Two awards are available to US-based clinicians in private practice who have completed their endocrinology fellowship in the past 10 years to attend ENDO or CEU. Applications are due June 1, 2017.
National Academies Releases Research Integrity Report
This month, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report on Fostering Integrity in Research. The report issues eleven broad recommendations, targeted to a variety of audiences, including researchers, research institutions, research sponsors, government agencies, private foundations, scientific societies, and journal publishers. The report also calls for the establishment of a Research Integrity Advisory Board (RIAB) that "will work with all stakeholders in the research enterprise... to share expertise and approaches for addressing and minimizing research misconduct and detrimental research practices." Many of the recommendations targeted to journals and scientific societies are consistent with the established practices of the Endocrine Society and our stable of journals.
NIH to Allow Preprints in Grant Application and RPPRs
In 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for information (RFI) on preprints and other interim research products, and how these might be used to "speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor" of scientific work. Following from the RFI, the NIH recently announced that the agency will allow investigators to report preprints and other interim research products in grant applications and research performance progress reports (RPPRs.)
For more information and guidance for selecting and citing interim research products, please see the NIH notice.
FASEB Releases Interactive Resource to Highlight Training Opportunities
In April, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) released a new resource to highlight the career and professional development opportunities available to postdocs and graduate students from most of the FASEB member societies, including the Endocrine Society. The new tool, accessible via a spreadsheet that can be downloaded from the FASEB website, indicates whether a society offers a particular benefit/activity. Clicking on an icon takes you directly to the individual society’s website for more details.
The effort was a response to the 2014 National Academies report, The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited, which recommended that professional societies should do more to promote career development. FASEB staff, aware that member societies already conduct many of the recommended professional development activities, compiled these activities into a centralized resource to make it easier for trainees to identify and take advantage of the many benefits their professional societies provide.
We encourage members of the Endocrine Society to examine the resource (note – direct download of Excel spreadsheet) and share it with their colleagues and trainees.