toring. The FDA offers information on protecting children from poisons in their homes, including medicines, cleaning products, and houseplants.
The FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) advances public health through innovative regulations that ensure the safety, effectiveness, and timely delivery to patients of biological and related products. CBER is also responsible for an adequate and safe supply of allergenic materials and antitoxins and for the safety and efficacy of biological therapeutics. CBER plays an important role in the President’s Initiative on Countering Bioterrorism, including ensuring the expeditious development and licensing of products to diagnose, treat, or prevent outbreaks from exposure to the pathogens that have been identified as bioterrorist agents (http://www.fda.gov).
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ensures health care security for beneficiaries, improving quality and efficiency in an evolving health care system. CMS runs Medicare, the nation’s largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans. Medicare provides care to people age 65 or older, some people with disabilities under age 65, and people with permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant. CMS also runs Medicaid, a health insurance program for certain low-income people that is funded and administered through a state–federal partnership. There are broad federal requirements for Medicaid, but states have a wide degree of flexibility to design their program. CMS runs the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which became available on October 1, 1997, and helps states expand health care coverage to more than 5 million of the nation’s uninsured children. CMS provides information on how to guard young children against poisons (http://www.cms.gov).
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the health services research arm of DHHS, complementing the biomedical research mission of its sister agency, the National Institutes of Health. AHRQ specializes in research on quality improvement and patient safety, outcomes and effectiveness of care, clinical practice and technology assessment, health care organization and delivery systems, primary care and preven-