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The new requirements, included in the landmark health care overhaul that Congress passed in March, are among a number of measures in the law intended to reduce health care costs.

“Unfortunately, too many Americans don’t get the preventive care they need to stay healthy and keep health care costs down for all of us,” said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services.

The rules will go into effect in September, six months after Congress passed the health care overhaul.


Congress pushes for fed teleworking

Congress is taking steps to promote teleworking by federal employees, saying it will improve morale, reduce traffic congestion and help ensure the government can function in emergencies.

The House has approved legislation that would instruct the government to come up with uniform telecommuting regulations for federal workers. Each federal agency is to establish its own policies for teleworking and appoint a telework managing officer. The measure would also provide teleworking training to employees and supervisors. The Senate has already passed similar legislation.

About 100,000 federal employees currently work from home at least once a month. They represent about 5 percent of all employees and less than 9 percent of those eligible for teleworking.


Nestle reaches deal over health claims

A subsidiary of Nestle S.A. has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over claims of false advertising in its promotion of a children’s drink.

The FTC said Wednesday that Nestle HealthCare Nutrition Inc. claimed its Boost Kid Essentials drink with probiotics boosted children’s immune systems, prevented certain illnesses, sped up recovery and reduced their school absences.

“Nestle’s claims that its probiotic product would prevent kids from getting sick or missing school just didn’t stand up to scrutiny,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Parents want to do right by their kids, and the FTC is helping them by monitoring ads and stopping those that are deceptive.”

Nestle will drop claims about the health benefits of the drink and will stop claiming that it will reduce sick days and other conditions unless the claims become backed by clinical studies.

This is the FTC’s first case challenging advertising for probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria found naturally in many foods and are touted as aiding digestion and fighting harmful bacteria.

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