Industry Outlook: Telehealth Services

By Danny Restivo, 2/1/17

Healthcare remains a controversial topic among a wide swath of America. As a new administration pushes to repeal and/or replace Obamacare, millions are left wondering what future treatment will look like in the coming year. While lawmakers debate the best path forward, the demand for lower costs and increased efficiency has intensified.

In light of the acrimony, telehealth has surfaced as a potential remedy.

The Federal Health Resource and Services Administration has classified telehealth as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration.”

Whether it’s over the phone, via email, or Facetime, technology now allows doctors and nurses to treat patients in a quick and convenient manner. Obviously, many patients require a healthcare professional physically present, but a large number do not. A recent medical study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and the Harvard Medical School revealed that patients only spend 17 percent of their healthcare visits with a doctor. Furthermore, with the average out-of-pocket cost at $32 (on average, insurance pays $250 per visit), Americans spend roughly 2.4 billion hours a year on doctor’s visits, or roughly $52 billion in lost wages.

Visits to the doctor’s office monopolize our time and our money, which is why providers and customers have begun to view telemedicine as a viable option. Video-based telemedicine requests increased from seven percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2016, according to Rock Health Survey. The survey found that 83 percent of patients found their service satisfactory, with a majority of users between the ages of 25-34. Those who were 55 or older were least likely to use telemedicine, but more than half had contacted a doctor via phone. Telemedicine can also serve as a practical option compared to costly emergency room visits. According to a 2013 study published by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, of 1,500 cases of acute care surveyed, more than a third were appropriate for telemedicine. Moreover, a 2016 HealthMine survey of 500 customers using telehealth revealed that 93 percent experienced a cost reduction compared to a traditional healthcare visit.

In light of these findings, The American Telemedicine Association predicts the worldwide telehealth market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3 percent, reaching $36.2 billion in 2020. In 2014, telehealth accounted for $14.3 billion. Increased demand for convenience, innovation and personalized healthcare are among the driving factors.

Healthcare professionals can use telemedicine to diagnose a number of ailments via phone or video chat. In a process known as store and forward, doctors and nurses can transmit X-rays, MRI images, and other digital content to help remote specialists make a proper diagnosis. For example, a cardiologist can receive an electrocardiogram on his phone and diagnose a heart attack without ever meeting the patient. In one case, a doctor in California used a high-resolution ultrasound on a flight to produce an image of a passenger experiencing chest problems. The physician determined the issue was not life-threatening and emergency landing was unnecessary.

More customers are demanding telehealth as an option on their health plan and insurance companies have obliged. According to a report from the National Business Group on Health, nine in ten employers said they plan to make telehealth available where it’s allowed. However, as telehealth increases in popularity, ensuring internet access in austere locations (where telehealth is most pertinent), as well as a viable pool of healthcare workers remains a hurdle.

With more demand, private insurers have started to tap into the telehealth market. Anthem, one of the country’s largest healthcare providers, has created a 24-hour a day, seven days a week portal for telehealth services. American Well, a telehealth company that supports Anthem’s online efforts, has created an online market where patients can select from a menu of doctors. Anthem is now offering telehealth plans to customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. A number of other healthcare providers have also partnered with American Well, including the Cleveland Clinic and CVS Health, to expand their service options.

Reimbursement policies from insurance providers may also indicate the future of telemedicine. Mercer, a global healthcare consultation agency, reported 59 percent of large employers offered telemedicine policies in 2016, compared to only 30 percent in 2015. Mercer also stated that telemedicine could significantly cut costs as deductibles increase and healthcare providers try to improve transparency on prices.

Financial arrangements regarding patient needs and healthcare providers requires further streamlining. Ultimately, customer behavior may have the largest effect on how the telemedicine market evolves, but lawmakers and regulators could facilitate a stronger or weaker telehealth sector.

Up next: Telehealth Legislative Overview

DMGS Tech Brief: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

By Danny Restivo

January 25th, 2017

For the first time in three years, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin topped the $1,000 mark, setting the stage for a banner year in 2017. The digital money hit $1,029 on January 2, according to Coindesk, a news organization that offers a price index for digital currenopengraphcy. Like all fiat currencies, Bitcoin’s value is determined by how much people are willing to trade. With the new price determination– as well as 12.5 bitcoins added into circulation every 10 minutes–the estimated value of all Bitcoins is $10 billion.

Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used cryptocurrency. It was created using an open-sourced software by an unidentified programmer, or programmers, in an effort to create a decentralized currency. A decentralized currency means that no single institution (such as a bank) or entity (country) controls Bitcoin. While similar digital currencies were launched during that same period, Bitcoin remains the dominant player and the most stable cryptocurrency investment. Its recent success has also boosted other digital money as well. The cryptocurrency Ethereum increased by 55 percent from December 28 to January 5, while Monero went up 27 percent during the same time period.

Part of Bitcoin’s rise, as well as the other cryptocurrencies, originates from blockchain technology. The technology provides a decentralized online platform to help facilitate transactions while maintaining anonymity for both parties. Whereas traditional transactions often involve a bank or financial exchange to verify and validate, blockchain technology allows Bitcoin users to account for all transactions. Using a number of complicated mathematical permutations and algorithms, a shared group of servers helps verify and validate transactions in a process called mining. Any server can help mine for Bitcoins and verify blocks within the chain of transactions while receiving bitcoins for doing so.

However, several high profile issues stemming from fraudulent transactions have plagued Bitcoins and other digital currencies. The most prolific occurred in Tokyo after a virtual currency exchange declared bankruptcy in late 2014. The exchange lost more than 100,000 Bitcoins, or more than $450 million for 750,000 customers. The company’s CEO, a Frenchman named Mark Karpeles, was ultimately charged with embezzlement before spending a year in Japanese jail. He’s now out on bail, but must remain in the country. Kareples’ incarceration comes on the heels of the arrest of two other Bitcoin pioneers. Charlie Shrem and Robert Faiella were both charged with laundering more than $1 million in Bitcoins to help make illegal purchases on the Silk Road, a now defunct black market site.

In 2013, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was arrested for hacking, money laundering, narcotics trafficking and procuring murder. The FBI collected more than 144,000 Bitcoins worth more than $28.5 million before they were auctioned off. Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison in May 2015 without the possibility of parole.

Despite issues related to criminal activity, Bitcoin has become a valued commodity matching the price of gold. Like other valuable minerals, Bitcoin’s worth stems from scarcity (only 21 million Bitcoins will ever be created, but they can be fractioned down to .000001). Bitcoin’s increasing popularity has come while countries like Venezuela, India and China place restrictions on their currency. Moreover, central banks in China, Russia, Canada and England have begun researching and implementing elements of blockchain technology.

video_wucIn September, a collaboration of Investment Banks and Tech Companies announced they would collaborate on a blockchain platform for trading. In October, other investment banks also announced that they were developing blockchain technology to create a shared ledger of all transactions while maintaining privacy for traders and transparency for regulators. Major investment banks have also been linked to technology firms that specialize in distributed ledger infrastructure, including Digital Asset Holdings (DAH), a blockchain startup that’s now working with the Australian Stock Exchange to replace its current system. DAH has already raised $60 million from Goldman Sachs, CME Group, Deutsche Borse, and Citigroup, among others.

While the financial sector is primed for blockchain investments, other industries like consumer manufacturing, healthcare and media expect to introduce the technology in some form.  “Companies in a variety of industries see blockchain’s ability to provide transparency, accountability and automation as huge benefits” says Brett Goldman, DMGS Manager of Special Projects. “However, Goldman adds, as the early developers and adopters of Bitcoin found out, blockchain technology is only as good as the people implementing it. therefore, companies and institutions that use blockchain must have a solid understanding of its technology, as well as its applicability before they will truly see an impact.”

For more information on Bitcoin and Blockchain Technologies, please contact us.

Weekly Congressional and Administration Health News

Cabinet Confirmation Hearings

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) was the first potential member of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet to begin the confirmation process. Seeking confirmation to become the Attorney General, his hearing took place on January 10. This hearing was expected to be centered around with Sessions’ questionable history on the topic of race. However, only his failure to attain a federal judgeship due to allegations of racism was brought up. Democrat questioners did not press this matter for long, as their primary focus was Sessions’ policy positions. Issues such as same-sex marriage and immigration were introduced to gauge Sessions’ potential stances. Sessions combatted these challenges by making it clear that he would do everything he could to remain impartial and “follow the law”.

Retired Marine General John Kelly also had his hearing on January 10. Being considered for the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kelly is also expected to gain confirmation. The hearing’s lack of confrontation was comparable to Senator Sessions’ hearing. Sen. Tom Carper (D) introduced Kelly as an “exceptionally well-qualified” candidate for this position. This trend of approval from both Republicans and Democrats continued throughout the hearing. Kelly was asked about several of Donald Trump’s more alarming campaign promises, including increased torture, building a wall along our Southern border, and the targeting of Muslim Americans. These points would be Kelly’s top priorities if he is confirmed to lead the DHS In response to these issues Kelly vehemently emphasized his compliance with the law, and his awareness that following through on these issues would violate the Constitution.

Rex Tillerson, former ExxonMobil CEO and Chairman, began his hearing on January 11. This hearing has been marked by much more confrontation and ambiguousness than prior hearings. Senator Marco Rubio (R) was very persistent in his questioning of Tillerson, focusing on sanctions against Russia and his ties with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Tillerson would not provide a clear answer on whether or not the US should exact sanctions against Russia over the recent hacking concerns. When Vladimir Putin’s characterization as a war criminal was addressed, Tillerson was similarly ambiguous. This highlighted the concern that both Democrats & Republicans have with  Tillerson’s dealings with Putin during his tenure with ExxonMobil. Tim Kaine (D) also pressed Tillerson for answers about his involvement with Russia and where he stands on recent issues regarding Putin. Kaine also asked about ExxonMobil withholding research regarding climate change.

Elaine Chao, who was nominated to the position of Secretary of Transportation, began her hearing on January 11. This hearing has been marked by “friendly” proceedings thus far. The FAA’s hold on air traffic control, and the need for increased measures of safety for trains were just some of the issues raised. Gaining funding for transportation was also a concern of questioners, but Chao express her faith in Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan. Chao insisted that she was already considering many of the issues that were illuminated by those questioning her.

Secretary of Defense nominee, James Mattis will have his hearing on Thursday, January 12. Ben Carson, up for Secretary  of Housing and Urban Development, will also have his hearing on this day. Following Carson will be Wilbur Ross, who is being considered for the position of Secretary of Commerce. Finally, the last hearing scheduled for this week is potential Director of Central Intelligence, Mike Pompeo. Betsy DeVos’ hearing will begin on January 17, as she was nominated to become Secretary of Education. Hearing dates are not official for Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Pudzer, UN Ambassador nominee Nikki Haley, Secretary of Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Department of Interior nominee Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price, and Energy Secretary nominee Rick Perry.

Obamacare Repeal Effort Clears First Big Hurdle in U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate took the first step toward repealing Obamacare in a razor-thin vote early Thursday, even as House leaders were struggling to line up support for a vote later this week. The 51-48 vote fell almost entirely along party lines, an early sign of the contentiousness surrounding Republican plans to undo President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law. Senate Republicans held together to defeat Democratic amendments aimed at defending popular portions of the Affordable Care Act, including expanded Medicaid and Medicare drug benefits and allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26.

The House is planning to vote on the budget as early as Friday, but the timing could slip because of intra-party angst. Doubts were growing among both moderate and conservative Republicans about the wisdom of voting for repeal without laying out more details about the eventual replacement. Republicans intend to come up with the repeal bill in the coming weeks, though they remain far apart over how it would work. The budget blueprint lets Republicans repeal much of Obamacare without any votes from Democrats, because follow-on legislation wouldn’t be subject to filibusters.

GOP leaders initially discussed setting an Obamacare repeal sometime months or even years in the future, with a replacement to be enacted by that date. But a revolt by rank-and-file members in both chambers, with apparent agreement from President-elect Donald Trump, has lawmakers looking for a near-simultaneous repeal and enactment of a new health-care law several weeks or months into the new administration. The budget resolution, S. Con. Res. 3, sets a Jan. 27 target for writing the first Obamacare replacement bill. A group of five Republicans proposed changing that target to March 3, but they withdrew the amendment late Wednesday after GOP leaders reassured them that there was no practical difference because missing the deadline doesn’t carry a penalty.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said he voted against the budget resolution for an unrelated reason — it would allow the federal debt to increase by more than $9 trillion over the next decade. Republicans control the Senate 52-48, which meant that Republicans could afford only a single additional defection to advance the measure before Trump’s inauguration.

The “vote-a-rama” procedure for budget resolutions allows Democrats to force unlimited votes on amendments, which meant hours of votes before final approval of the measure. Democrats tried to use the amendments to demonstrate a split between where the country is on popular provisions and the Republican base. “The Republicans cannot please their base and the broader public at the same time,” Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said on the Senate floor. “From a policy perspective, they can’t repeal the law and keep in place the provisions that are overwhelmingly popular with a majority of Americans. That’s why they’re in such a pickle.” An amendment on prescription-drug pricing — a hot topic in the wake of the furor over Mylan NV’s EpiPen price increases and others in the last year — received a vote. The provision aimed at allowing importation of drugs from Canada was defeated 46-52, with numerous Democrats and Republicans breaking from party ranks in what was a significant symbolic win for the powerful pharmaceutical industry. Provisions were also filed on numerous other issues, including the carried interest tax break, trade and veterans’ benefits, but most of them did not get roll-call votes. Previous “vote-a-ramas” have been nearly all-night affairs with proposed amendments on a wide range of topics, but Democrats focused most of their amendments on Obamacare. Democrats are due to get another chance at offering dozens of amendments later this year, when Republicans plan to vote on next year’s budget, including fast-track provisions intended to speed an overhaul of the tax code.

Most Republicans seemed inclined to vote against even items they support to avoid hiccups that could create an embarrassing start to GOP control of Washington. Several senators said many of the amendments are effectively meaningless. No Democratic amendments were adopted. But one, an attempt to create a 60-vote threshold on legislation that would harm rural hospitals, had the backing of four Republican senators — Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada and Rob Portman of Ohio. The attempt failed on procedural grounds, but could be a preview of the difficulty Republicans can expect in actually writing a repeal bill. Ideally, leaders want the House to adopt the Senate resolution later this week and move on, but it’s not clear yet whether Speaker Paul Ryan will have the votes to do so without changes to assuage his restive conference. Senior House Deputy Whip Dennis Ross of Florida said Wednesday he’s been advised by a colleague that more Republican votes must be found to adopt the resolution, since all Democrats are expected to oppose the measure. The vote is tentatively set for Friday, but Ross said that GOP leaders are preparing for the possibility that the vote may have to be moved to Saturday to allow more time to assemble enough support.

Some House Freedom Caucus members are opposed to the current plan, while Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who co-chairs a group of moderate Republicans, said he has “serious reservations” at this point about voting for the budget. Among the differences Republicans are struggling with are how to treat states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare — a priority for senators like Capito — and whether to immediately repeal all of the Obamacare taxes or keep some of them in place for now to ensure funding for a robust replacement. Trump said Wednesday that he plans to weigh in on the outlines of a replacement after he takes office. “We’re going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary’s approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan,” Trump told reporters. “We’re going to do repeal and replace, very complicated stuff, and we’re going to get a health bill passed.” Georgia Republican Representative Tom Price, the president-elect’s pick for Health and Human Services secretary, faces a hearing next week in front of the Senate’s health committee, although the key hearing for his confirmation hasn’t yet been scheduled.

Health Care News

GOP: Less Money for States, Better Flexibility for Medicaid

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) has said that a Republican ACA replacement plan will provide more flexibility with programs such as Medicaid, however states will have less federal funding for their Medicaid programs. Tiberi said that states will pay a larger share when State Medicaid programs merge into a “shared partnership” with the federal government, including those under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This partnership would reportedly allow states to receive more grant waivers from the federal government in order to experiment with new coverage models which are designed to reduce their Medicaid budgets. “With a partnership, there might be less federal funding but there’s more flexibility for states to be innovative to deal with their own Medicaid population,” said Tiberi.

Republicans have yet to decide on a plan for replacing the ACA’s core benefits, including the billions of dollars that states are using to provide expanded Medicaid programs as well as subsidies for low income Americans who purchase health insurance on the individual marketplace. The development of a plan is still in progress and will require further debate by House Republicans, according to the GOP. In order to reduce state spending on Medicaid and advocate personal responsibility on participants behalf, many states have asked the Obama administration for waivers to federal requirements for their Medicaid programs. States would then be able to charge enrollees premiums or require participants to pay into a health savings account.

GOP Senate Doubts about Obamacare Repeal Process

President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to repeal Obamacare without a replacement is doubted by a fourth Republican senator.

Bob Corker (R-TN) said on Friday morning, “Repeal and replacement should take place simultaneously.”

Rand Paul (R-KY) plans to vote against the procedure that sets up Obamacare repeal because of budget concerns.

Republicans have yet to explain how the health insurance scheme would be replaced after the repeal. For six years, Republicans have been calling for repeal for the health-care law, but now are nervous they will take blame if millions of Americans lose coverage in the coming years.

Tom Cotton (R-AR), being the latest to call for a replacement to accompany any repeal, stated, “I think when we repeal Obamacare we need to have the solution in place moving forward. Again, that solution may be implemented in a deliberate fashion. But I don’t think we can repeal Obamacare and say we’re going to get the answer two years from now. Look, this is a very complicated problem.”

Rand Paul met with Tom Price (R-GA), who was picked by Trump to lead the Health and Human Services Department and said “it’s absolutely imperative that Congress votes on replacing Obamacare on the same day it repeals it. We’ve got about 100 bills to replace Obamacare, OK? We need to put together the best of them into one bill. You can’t wait six months or a year and leave people floundering about without an alternative.”

Mitch McConnell insists that Republicans will work on pieces of legislation later in the year that will provide better and less-expensive care. “We plan to take on this challenge in manageable pieces”, also saying there will be “bumps along the way.”

Republicans fear having to explain to constituents why they would be losing their health care if the Obamacare collapses after a standalone repeal, which they obtained when a Democrat was in-charge.

Medicare Provider Enrollment Ban Extension in Six States

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a notice on Jan. 6 that federal bans in six states on new ambulance providers and home health agencies that are enrolling in the Medicare program have been extended for 6 more months.

The extensions takes into effect Jan. 29 and was necessary due to significant risks of fraud and abuse associated with ambulance providers and home health agencies in those states.

CMS focuses on potential fraud schemes associated with ambulance providers and home health services.

Health-care attorney, Gejaa Gobena says, “Data shows those types of fraud are on the decline in those regions, but no one is ready to declare “mission accomplished” yet.” She continues to say ”it is uncertain if there is a need for more companies providing these services.”

Gobena expresses concerns about people buying an existing provider and committing fraud.

“While there are enhanced screening and ownership measures in place, when I was at DOJ I saw several instances of people who wanted to commit fraud doing that [buying an existing provider] to get around the moratorium.”

As a way to combat fraud, waste, or abuse, the Affordable Care Act gave Medicare, Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment for providers and suppliers.

The moratoria extension influences newly enrolling nonemergency ambulance providers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas and newly enrolling home health agencies in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas.

CMS Demands Worker’s Comp Plan Repay

On Jan. 5 a federal court criticized the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for demanding reimbursement from workers compensation plans under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California said, “the practice of demanding a workers’ comp plan repay an entire medical bill line item, as long as it contained at least one diagnosis code covered by a primary payer, is improper.”

Judge Otis D. Wright II agreed and stated that a workers’ comp insurer is not responsible for repayment of the entire charge under the MSP because of the presence of one covered diagnosis code in a single billed charge.

The California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) disputed repayment demands made by the CMS against three workers compensation plans. Alleging the repayment demands including treatments for services not covered by the plans, they also fought to block CMS from collecting on the noncovered treatments.

According to the CIGA, CMS demanded repayment for charges for treatments that were not covered by the workers’ compensation plans which were not subject to MSP repayment. The repayment demands included treatments for diabetes, bereavement, high blood pressure, tobacco use, eczema, ulcers, and giddiness.

Rule Created to Penalize Overcharging Drug Manufacturers

On Jan. 4, the Department of Health and Human Services Department released a rule (RIN: 0906-AA89) on civil monetary penalties which penalizes Drug Manufacturers who overcharge safety-net providers for medications under a federal discount program. This program requires drug manufacturers participating in Medicaid to agree to provide outpatient drugs to covered entities. This includes safety-net hospitals at reduced prices. However, this rule is under the Affordable Care Act which may be revised by the new Congress.  If manufacturers charge more than the “ceiling price”, they will pay a penalty. Each instance of overcharging a covered entity will be no more than $5,000. The rule was planned to be published Jan. 5th in the Federal Register and take effect March 6.

Pricey Drugs Creating Coverage Gap for Medicare

On Jan. 5, a government watchdog agency reported a coverage gap on spending in the Medicare Part D drug from high-priced outpatient drugs. Between 2010 to 2015, Federal funding tripled. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General found the funding was as much as $33 billion.  Drugs used to treat hepatitis C, among 8 others account for a third of the spending. Congress’s Medicare advisors recommended a shift be made from taxpayers to drug plans in order to pay for the costs.

 

John Zang contributed to this report

Legislative Overview: Distracted Driving

By Danny Restivo

During the holiday season millions of Americans hit the road to see loved ones located across the country. As they drove with family and friends on packed interstates, they likely had their cellphone within reach. Unfortunately, with the pervasive nature of today’s communication technology, many drivers became distracted while driving.

Whether it’s responding to a text, tweet or an email, distracted drivers pose a significant danger on the road.  In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said more than 600,000 people used or manipulated devices while driving. Five years later, as mobile devices and their applications become more ubiquitous, the number has increased, especially among teenagers and young adults. In 2013, more than a third of distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents were under 30, while more than half reported using cellphones.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured in distracted driving incidents every day. In 2014, there were 3,179 deaths caused by distracted drivers, while more than 430,000 were injured. In 2013, more than 3,100 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. Because many people don’t admit they were distracted while driving, recovering accurate statistics remains challenging.

Whether it’s texting, eating, or mapping directions, studies have demonstrated that distractions can significantly increase the likelihood of an accident. Unfortunately, no breathalyzer-like test exists for cell phone use while driving (although New York has proposed new technology to do so) but law enforcement officials and policy advisors have zeroed in on cell phones to make roads safer.

Based on studies by the National Safety Council, 1.6 million traffic-accidents (out of 2.4 million) are caused by distracted drivers. The number of people killed increased seven percent to 35,092 from 2014 to 2015, making 2015 the deadliest traffic year since 2008, according to the NHTSA. Compared to traffic accidents in other industrialized countries, the United States is one of the deadliest places to drive, as well as the most costliest.

In 2013, traffic deaths cost $44 billion in medical and work loss costs, according to the CDC. The NHTSA report said that traffic accidents in the United States totaled $871 billion in 2014 in economic loss and societal harms, with distracted drivers causing more than $100 billion.

“No amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, or stem the suffering associated with motor vehicle crashes,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement when the report was released. “While the economic and societal costs of crashes are staggering, today’s report clearly demonstrates that investments in safety are worth every penny used to reduce the frequency and severity of these tragic events.”

In 2014, deadly accidents cost Texas and California nearly $5 billion, each. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida all paid more than $1.6 billion. In light of these statistics, states have implemented restrictions aimed at keeping drivers focused on the roads, instead of their phones.Distracted Driving.png

Here’s a list of five states with some of the highest accident costs, along with their respective distracted driving laws.

California-$4.89 billion

Governor Jerry Brown signed assembly bill 1785 into law in September. The law requires drivers to mount their smartphone on their windshield or dashboard. The law says they can only use them for things that require the “motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.” The new law takes effect on January 1, 2017, with a $20 fine for the first offense and a $50 fine for every subsequent violation.

Texting and speaking on the phone is illegal in California except with a hands free device. However, the law has done little to curb cell phone usage while driving. A study by the California Office of Traffic Safety released a report in June showing nearly 13 percent of the state’s drivers were seen talking, texting or using a cellphone in some manner, which is up from 9 percent in 2015.

Texas-$4.89 Billion

Texas remains one of four states without a statewide ban on texting and driving (Missouri, Montana and Arizona have no bans, while a study by AT&T showed these states have a 17-percent higher rate of texting while driving). However, while 95 of 254 counties have local ordinances that ban texting while driving, the state has rejected proposals making a state law against it.  In 2011, former Republican Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill that banned texting while driving, which had passed both chambers. Similar legislation was brought forth in 2013 and 2015. While both bills passed the house, they failed in the senate (it failed by one vote in 2015). Senate Bill 31, which is sponsored by Sen. Judith Saffirini (D), makes texting illegal unless the vehicle is stopped. It’s expected to receive a vote in early 2017.

Florida-$3.02 billion

 The state legislature approved a bill that bans texting while driving in 2013. However, there is no handheld ban, or any prohibitions against talking on the phone. Furthermore, drivers cannot be pulled over for distracted driving. They can only get pulled over for another offense before a secondary citiation for distracted driving gets issued.

In April, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that distracted driving caused more than 45,700 crashes and 200 deaths in 2015. From 2013 to 2015, the state issued 3,488 citations for distracted driving. As a result, several state legislators have announced plans to introduce proposals that would strengthen laws against texting while driving in 2017.

New York-$1.69 billion

 The Empire State has a primary law ban on handheld devices and texting while driving. Under State law, a first offense results in a fine of $50 to $200, and increases to $250 after the second offense within 18 months. Subsequent offenses can result in fines up to $450. For young drivers with a permit, a citation equals a 120-day driving suspension. If there is a second suspension within six months, that suspension increases to one year.

In 2016, state senator Terrence Murphy (R) introduced a bill that would allow officers to use a device called the textalyzer. Like a breathalyzer, the device can check to see if a phone was being used during the time a crash occurred. Consent must be received before the device gets used. The proposal has garnered criticism for its potential privacy violations, but its prospects for reducing accident rates remains promising. The bill (SB 6325A) currently sits in committee.

Pennsylvania- $1.60 billion

 The Keystone State has a primary law that bans texting while driving, but no such law exists for cellphone use or handheld devices. In November, Democratic Governor Tom Wolfe signed a bill that increases penalties for texting while driving. Daniel’s Law (HB 2025) gives judges the option to increase sentencing by five more years for a person convicted in a fatal accident stemming from texting. In 2015, Pennsylvania reported 14,800 crashes and 66 deaths from cellphones usage while driving.

Industry Outlook: 3D Printing

By Danny Restivo

For nearly three decades, scientists have worked to refine three-dimensional printing techniques, but early attempts to adapt the technology into a manufacturing business model failed. Now 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has the potential to become a disruptive force in the global economy.

Many analysts believe it can have the same type impact on manufacturing as the birth of the assembly line did. With the help of computer-aided design technology, 3-D printers can create customized pieces of plastic, metal, ceramics, rubber and other materials in a decentralized location. Whereas traditional manufacturing technology uses subtractive production methods, such as molds, additive manufacturing uses successive layers of chemical powder or liquid.

As manufacturers refine additive technology, 3-D printing has become a rising production method in a number of industries. From 2014 to 2016, the additive manufacturing industry grew by roughly $2 billion, according to Wohlers 2016 report. Moreover, global spending on 3-D printing totaled $11 billion, with growth expected to reach $27 billion in 2019, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report also said that 42 percent of manufacturers expect to use 3-D printing in the next 3-5 years.

While additive manufacturing technology remains an expensive investment, companies in a variety of sectors have begun producing select items in an effort to save on long-term costs and undercut competition. Here are four industries where additive manufacturing can alter the business and regulatory landscape.

Medical

Medical devices have become a lucrative market for manufactures, reaching $381 billion in 2015, and creating a ripe opportunity for additive technology. Forecasters expect the sector’s 3-D printing market to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 17 percent for the next 10 years, equaling $1.5 billion. A 3-D printer allows medical specialists to create customized implants or prostheses within a hospital setting. The projected increase in 3-D printed material stems from an aging population, diabetes-related gangrene cases and arthritis.

In May of 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance on technical considerations for medical devices produced with 3-D printing technology. The guidelines focus on design and manufacturing, as well as testing and validation. The guidance does not veer from the FDA’s traditional manufacturing rules, but they do emphasize material control and testing protocols. So far, the FDA has approved 85 medical devices using 3-D printing.

Three months earlier, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals released the first 3-D manufactured pill, Spritam, which is used to treat patients with epilepsy. The drug was made with a printer that stitched together a powdered formula, which dissolves during ingestion. Spritam’s introduction has raised the prospect of customized pharmaceuticals that allow doctors to tailor prescriptions for a patient, before sending it to a pharmacy where it’s printed.

While the FDA has not addressed 3-D production of cell tissue or organs, researchers are in the early stages of developing it.

Aerospace

Experts believe the global 3-D printing market will grow by roughly 56 percent from 2016 to 2020, accounting for 15 percent of all 3-D printed material. Additive technology has the ability to produce precise parts for custom needs, all while reducing material costs. The growth stems from a demand for lightweight metals and engine parts to cut down on fuel costs.

General Electric has used a 3-D printer to produce a portion of an engine that weighs five percent less than a traditional engine system, which ultimately received Federal Aviation Administration approval. The savings was enough to reduce fuel burn by one percent. In December, GE acquired a German and a Swedish 3-D printing company as part of a $1.5 billion investment in additive manufacturing technology. In March, Airbus entered into an agreement with Alcoa after the lightweight metal producer expanded its additive manufacturing capabilities with a $60 million investment in a Pittsburgh area facility.

Additive technology also has the ability to significantly reduce manufacturing production time. In August, Boeing (in partnership with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Laboratory) created a trim-and-drill tool. The 17.5 x 10 feet piece of ABS thermoplastic composite weighs roughly 1,650 pounds, and will help build the wings for Boeing’s next-generation 777X jet, which is scheduled to begin production in 2016. Whereas traditional manufacturing produced a similar tool within three months, Boeing and ORNL’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine took 30 hours.

The Federal Aviation Administration has not issued any guidelines for aerospace companies using additive technology. Although in June, the FAA and the U.S. Air Force did issue a joint report following a workshop that emphasized the need to further research aircraft using AM parts, especially structural metal alloys.

Automotive

In 2014, Local Motors, a low-volume auto manufacturer based out of Phoenix, became the first company to produce a 3-D printed vehicle from ABS-Carbon Fiber. Shortly after, Honda and Ford announced they would begin using additive technology to produce particular auto parts. According to some estimates, 3-D printing could help the auto industry generate roughly $600 million by the end of 2016, and $2.3 billion by 2021.

Additive technology has proven primarily beneficial in the creation of customized tools used in the production process. Instead of purchasing a tool and waiting for it to ship, auto producers may be able to design and create a specialized metal device within hours. As a result, lead times and production costs could be significantly reduced.

While large 3-D printed metal parts might not be economical for vehicle use, it’s only a matter of time before researchers refine a lightweight metal for family vehicles. Federal fuel guidelines have increased the need for auto companies to save on fuel costs, and creating lightweight materials has been a key area of focus.

However, because vehicles are produced to operate in extreme climates, the material used must be able to face a variety of durability factors. Currently, there aren’t enough composite resources or high strength polymers to significantly influence high volume producers like the Big Three.

Firearms

As the federal government gives additive technology a significant degree of freedom in certain industries, they have come down hard on gun manufacturers. In September, the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals ruled that Defense Distributed could not distribute 3-D printing files for the manufacturing of firearms via the Internet. In 2013, the Texas-based organization came into conflict with the State Department after allowing Internet users to download 3-D printing instructions for untraceable firearms using a plastic polymer.

Based on the Undetectable Firearms Act, any firearm not detected by a metal detector is illegal; therefore, all firearms must have a metal component. Furthermore, based on the 1968 Gun Control Act, anyone who manufactures firearms in America must be licensed and issue serial numbers. 3-D printed firearms do not have any such oversight. However, Defense Distributed attempted to circumvent the law, and allow people to upload the content online.

In May 2013, following the Defense Distributed’s announcement that it had successfully printed a non-metal firearm, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement that said:

“Significant advances in three-dimensional (3D) printing capabilities, availability of free digital 3D printer files for firearms components, and difficulty regulating file sharing may present public safety risks from unqualified gun seekers who obtain or manufacture 3D printed guns.”

Conversely, first and second amendment advocates have cited their constitutional right to print firearms. In light of the court’s ruling, California has passed legislation outlawing 3-D printed firearms, while Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) has introduced legislation that would ultimately ban firearms from using plastic. However, Israel retires in 2016 and the responsibility to push his legislation will fall to the bill’s cosponsors.

Highlights from the Advanced Manufacturing Sector

 

The United States of America has always been known for generations for its ability to produce high quality goods, yet the manufacturing process has changed dramatically as innovations are rapidly introduced. What impact will advanced manufacturing have on the US Economy in the 21st Century?

High tech machines and specialized workers have become essential for a competitive manufacturing industry. With new advancements in technology, Germany, Japan and China have challenged America’s dominance in manufacturing. In 2010, following the Great Recession, the United States ranked 4th in the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Rankings (behind Germany, Japan and China). Six years later, the United States moved into the number two spot (behind China) and is expected to rank number one in 2020, according to the GMCR.

While the number of American manufacturing jobs has fallen, the industry remains incredibly vital to our economy, accounting for $6.2 trillion, or 36 percent of the gross domestic product in the United States. Furthermore, the United States has produced twice as much since 1984 with a third fewer workers. (Production peaked in 2007 before the Great Recession, which saw an 18 percent drop in manufacturing output. However, in 2015 manufacturing output was within 3 percent of the 2007 levels, according to the Federal Reserve’s Industrial Output Report). The production of electronics, aerospace, motor vehicles, machinery and energy equipment is at near-record rates.

A number of factors have led to America’s resurgence, but a renewed investment by the federal government has paved the way. Four years ago, President Barack Obama’s administration created the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, connecting people, ideas, and technology to solve industry-related challenges. In an effort to keep American manufacturing competitive, the administration has established nine advanced manufacturing institutes since 2011. These institutes have partnered with nearly 1,300 companies, universities and non-profits to create a consortium of public and private investment in manufacturing technology.

The institutes were part of a $600 million investment in manufacturing technology by the Federal Government. However, industry executives continue to cite regulatory policies, high taxes and labor costs as hurdles to competitiveness. They’ve also recognized the importance of maintaining a skilled pool of workers to draw from.

“A vibrant manufacturing sector also needs an equally vibrant workforce, educated in a multitude of fields from engineering to economics,” said Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation for the Office of Science and Technology Police, in a 2016 annual report to the White House.  “These skilled craftsmen technicians, designers, planners, researchers, engineers, and managers will be in high demand: over the next decade, we will need to fill nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs, although 2 million of these positions may remain unfilled due to a skills gap. In fact, at this moment, 80 percent of manufactures currently report a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly-skilled production positions.”

In light of these circumstances, a number of states have begun to attract advanced manufacturing investments with lower tax rates, specialized training programs and small overhead costs.

We’ve highlighted six state successfully appealing to companies and their investments.

advanced-manufacturing-mapIndiana

According to a study released in June by the Ball State Center for Business and Economic research, Indiana has the largest share of advanced manufacturing employment in the nation. The report says that one out of every 12 workers is employed in the advanced manufacturing sector. Indiana has the largest concentration of manufacturing in the nation, with nearly 53 percent of its manufacturing employment deemed advanced.

The Hoosier State has also created a public-private initiative called Conexus, which includes participation from the Indiana Department of Education. The program helps high schools align their curriculum with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses and skills applicable to specific industries.

In June, Governor Mike Pence announced a 10-year, $1 billion investment aimed at boosting innovation and entrepreneurship. The plan, which is operated by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., creates a consortium connecting government agencies, research universities, non-profits, universities, communities and the private sector.

Rolls-Royce, General Electric Aviation, Alcoa, Raytheon and Praxair have all announced plans to invest more than $900 million in the Hoosier State. In the case of GE and Rolls Royce, the state offered $3.3 million and $17 million in tax credits, respectively. GE will also receive $332,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans, while Rolls-Royce may receive $1.425 million.

Iowa

Iowa is a leader in metal processing, automation precision machinery, environmental control systems, digital and electronic devices and power generation equipment. According to Forbes, Iowa is the sixth best state for business costs.

Long known for its agricultural output, Iowa has become a lucrative state for advanced manufacturing investment. The Hawkeye State (which remains the country’s largest producer of corn, soybeans, pigs and eggs) brings in $31.7 billion in revenue from advanced manufacturing, more than three times its agricultural output.

Both Iowa University and Iowa State University support the growing industry with 2,000 engineering graduates every year. Furthermore, 15 community colleges have partnered with local manufacturing plants to offer training programs for workers. In November, Alliant Energy Corp. announced plans to build a 1,300-acre mega industrial complex outside of Cedar Rapids, the first the state has ever had.

Kentucky

In 2015, more than 300 companies announced they would open manufacturing sites within the Commonwealth. The $4 billion investment in aerospace, automotive technology, pharmaceuticals and plastics, equates to 10,000 jobs. Ford, General Motors and Toyota have already established extensive assembly factories throughout the state. Behind Michigan and Indiana, Kentucky is the third highest producer of automobiles in the entire country. Meanwhile, Kentucky has created more than 16,000 aerospace jobs at 75 facilities throughout the state. In September 2016, Safran Landing Systems began a $100 million expansion of its facility in Northern Kentucky, where it will provide wheel and brake components for Delta, Spirit Airlines, Air Canada, and other airlines.

Pharmaceutical products represent the third-largest manufacturing export in Kentucky, while the Northern part of the state is home to a growing biotech field, producing medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and bio medical information.

In 2016, Kentucky launched its Work Ready Skills Initiative, which aims to improve and upgrade career and technical centers by partnering with private companies and education facilities. The $100 million initiative looks to train and educate workers to meet the needs of a 21st century manufacturing industry.

Mississippi

The Magnolia State has experienced explosive manufacturing growth in the past several years. Because of local and state efforts, many companies are calling Mississippi home

In 2016, the Mississippi Legislature passed the Corporate Franchise Tax Phase Out in an attempt to encourage investment. The law lowers the state’s corporate franchise tax over a 10-year period starting in 2018, lowering the current $2.50 tax for each $1,000 of capital by $.25 a year until a complete phase out in 2027. The phase out also includes an exemption on the first $100,000 of capital.

In February 2016, Continental Tire announced it would invest $1.45 billion in a 1,000-acre facility outside Jackson. The plant expects to create 2,500 new jobs while serving as the most technologically advanced facility in the region. Continental, along with Yokohama, Nissan, Steel Dynamics, PACCAR and Airbus Helicopters, have created roughly half-a-million jobs since the Great Recession. Unfortunately, because of the skills gap, many highly specialized positions remain vacant.

Mississippi Works, an economic initiative begun by Republican Governor Phil Bryant, aims to narrow the gap in trained workers with $10 million in workforce training.  Local community colleges have begun offering advanced manufacturing certificates, while several local companies have partnered with colleges to create applicable training programs. The state’s strong research and development programs at the University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University have strengthened the talent pool as well.

Ohio

Manufacturing jobs accounted for more than a quarter of the state’s economic growth from 2013 to 2015. The bounce back comes after the Buckeye State lost 166,000 manufacturing jobs during the Great Recession, creating a large impact on a state known for its manufacturing might.

Ohio has transformed itself into a hub for new businesses using 21st century technology to help companies save money, while also becoming a prime producer of plastics and polymers, transportation equipment, chemicals, structural steel and fabricated metals. The state created a renewable energy program to help companies offset costs. Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Program for Manufacturers, which has invested more than $24 million in the sector, helps hundreds of companies reduce their energy consumption and improve sustainability.

In addition to the highest number of wind-related manufacturing facilities, with more than 60 plants, Ohio also attracted energy-friendly First Solar. The company develops and manufactures high quality solar modules and power generation units, employing roughly 1,200 people with a $100 million annual investment. Furthermore, the eastern half of the state sits on the Utica shale formation, and with the advent of fracking, a cheap and reliable supply of low-cost natural gas will remain available for years to come.

Tennessee

Tennessee recently ranked No. 1 in the nation for growth in advanced manufacturing jobs, according to the Brookings Institute.  The Volunteer state has the second largest increase in GDP growth among Southeastern States, reaching $51 billion in 2015.

Tennessee grew manufacturing jobs by 4.6 percent annually from 2013 to 2015, outpacing the national average of 2.46 percent. The state also created 11,400 new manufacturing jobs from 2015 to 2016, the largest margin of growth by any state during that timeframe. Auto parts manufacturing is the largest advanced industry in Tennessee, while management and technical consulting has seen a significant increase.

To help spur the manufacturing growth, Republican Governor Bill Haslam introduced the Tennessee promise, which offers two free years of community or technical college to eligible high school graduates. More than 16,000 students enrolled in the Tennessee Promise in Fall 2015.

Danny Restivo Compiled this Report

 

 

 

Legislative Overview: Police Body Cameras

By Danny Restivo

In the wake of several controversial police shootings, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have begun using body-worn cameras. Twenty-four states have approved or introduced body-worn camera regulations dictating when and where they can be used, while 25 have approved or proposed guidelines for accessing the footage.

Several studies have shown departments with cameras experience fewer incidents of confrontation and complaints against officers. However, a recent study by the Urban Institute discovered that body cameras do not consistently lead to less confrontation. In fact, the study shows that body-worn cameras may lead to more encounters with the public. While researchers and policymakers debate the pros and cons of police officer cameras, lawmakers see both the benefits and dangers of increased police surveillance.

laws-dictating-when-and-where-body-cameras-can-be-usedIn 2015, President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing issued a report that said technology could strengthen police relationships with all communities, while improving accountability among officers. As a result, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance has helped law enforcement organizations around the country implement body-worn camera policies, practices and evaluation methods. With the DOJ program, the federal government has created a body-worn camera framework for police departments to follow, but it remains incumbent upon state authorities to create standards and guidelines, as well as enforcment polices. Additionally, an increase in body-worn cameras highlights concerns regarding the privacy of innocent victims and witnesses.

In Pennsylvania, the challenge of balancing public safety with government transparency has played out in the legislature and the courts.

State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf of Montgomery County (R) introduced a bill that would revise the state’s wiretapping law and allow officers to leave their camera on while entering a private residence. If approved, the legislation could also let police departments refuse public requests for copies of audio or video by officers, unless a court order is issued. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently heard a police surveillance case stemming from a 2014 traffic accident in State College. Officers initially denied a request for video from a police dash cam by a passenger in the victim’s vehicle, but a lower court overruled. Police have argued that releasing surveillance video could compromise investigations, while potentially exposing innocent people to unnecessary scrutiny. Depending on the court’s ruling, a precedent for body-worn police footage could get cemented.

Moreover, a recent story by the Associated Press revealed that 10 out of 25 requests for police surveillance videos in Pennsylvania were denied. In each case where release was refused, police cited a need to protect investigative information, as well as the identity of private citizens. Under the Commonwealth’s Right to Know Law, news groups say they should have access to police videos in an effort to keep government accountable.

Whether it’s requirements for body camera use, funding, data storage, eavesdropping or releasing to the public, police camera policies vary in every state.

In Texas, police departments can charge for a copy of a body camera video. According to a November announcement from the Texas Secretary of State, police can charge $10 for each recording, as well as an additional fee of $1 per minute of footage if an identical copy hasn’t been released. Texas law doesn’t require police departments to release body camera footage, and can only do so “if it furthers law enforcement purpose.”

In South Carolina, where certain officers are required to wear body-worn cameras, recorded footage is exempt from the state’s public records law. While South Carolina has issued guidelines for departments to follow, local jurisdictions have a great deal of autonomy on camera policy. For example, local police chief’s can decide when cameras should be activated, what restrictions there are for recording, how long recordings should be retained and who is permitted to review the recordings.

In March, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed a bill requiring law enforcement agencies using body-worn cameras to follow certain guidelines. The law does not require local departments to use cameras, however.  It does build off a previous law that exempts the release of footage taken inside a residence, hospital, mental health facility or social services building. North Dakota approved a similar law in 2015.

Some police departments have come into conflict with the amount of time they are required to store video because of the costs it can incur. In late June, after Indiana approved a law requiring departments to store video for 190 days, a police department in Clarksville, located in southern Indiana, ended their camera program. The Clarksville police chief said the increased data storage would cost the department an extra $50,000 a year. The police chief, who mandated cameras in 2012, said paying for the body cameras was less burdensome with a 30-day requirement. Several other police departments in the Hoosier State followed suit.

A similar story played out in Berlin, Conn., where the police chief ended his department’s body-worn camera program after the state mandated 90-day storage, and up to four years if it was considered evidence.

While local police departments and state legislatures navigate the challenges of police body-worn cameras, the Department of Justice believes this technology can benefit everyone. In September, U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced $20 million in funding to help 106 state, city, tribal and municipal law enforcement agencies establish body-worn camera programs. With the increased funding, more law enforcement agencies—as well the residents who interact with them—will encounter challenges as local and state government’s aim to increase police transparency and accountability.

Snapshot of States with Body Camera Regulations

California—The state has passed laws requiring police departments to consider certain best practices for body-worn cameras. However, two bills aimed at increasing police transparency have failed in the statehouse. Currently, few police departments in California release body-worn camera video unless it’s court ordered. The state has strict laws preventing law enforcement information from becoming public.

Connecticut—Certain special police forces and any municipal police department receiving a state grant are required to use body-worn cameras when interacting with the public. The release of recordings is banned when it involves victims of domestic abuse, suicide, homicide or a fatal accident.

Illinois—Requires officers wearing cameras to ensure they’re on at all times, unless a victim or a witness of a crime requests otherwise. Illinois law excludes body camera data from the Freedom of Information Act, except when the data is flagged due to the filing of a complaint, a firearm is discharged, use of force occurs, or a victim or witness gives their permission for the video’s release.

Maryland—State law requires a police training commission to establish body camera policies and guidelines, including public accessibility and procedures for review. In March, the Baltimore police department announced that it would equip all its officers with body-worn cameras by 2018. The city has deployed its own program with footage available to the public through a request from Maryland’s Public Information Act.

Nevada—State law requires highway patrol officers who interact with people to wear body cameras, as well as enacting procedures for their use. Nevada law also stipulates that public requests for video can be made on a per incident basis and are available for inspection where the video is stored.

New Hampshire—In June, Governor Maggie Hassan (D) signed a bill establishing body-worn camera regulations for all departments, including when a camera should be activated and for how long the footage must be stored. Police are required to activate cameras when arriving at a call for service, while citizens, under certain circumstances, can decline recordings. If the camera is not activated, the officer must document the reason for doing so. The cameras can’t be used during intimate searches, interviews with crime victims, while on school grounds (unless there is a threat to life). Recordings are exempt from the state’s open records law, unless instances where police use of force, discharge a firearm, or where they engage in a situation that leads to a felony-level arrest.

New Jersey—The state requires certain personnel and vehicles to house a “mobile surveillance device.” In 2015, the state attorney general distributed $2.5 million for police departments to purchase body-worn cameras.

North Carolina—A bill signed by Governor Pat McCrory (R) in July stipulates who can view police footage. Only a person, or their representative, whose image or voice appears in the video can request access to view the video. All other requests must be made through a court order.

Oregon—State law requires police departments to develop procedures for body camera use. When appropriate, an officer wearing a body camera must notify people they encounter. Laws must align with the state’s eavesdropping laws.

States with Laws Dictating When and Where Body Cameras Can Be Used

Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampsire, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

(States with proposed legislation)California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Washington.

States with Laws Restricting Public Access to Footage

Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Virgina.

(States with proposed legislation) – California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington.

laws-restricting-public-access-to-footageStates requiring consent

Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Masschusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington (all states have exemptions in certain circumstances).