HHS

Hospitals Confront Climate Change as Patients Sick From Floods and Fires Crowd ERs

When triple-digit temperatures hit the Pacific Northwest this summer, the emergency room at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center was ill prepared. Doctors raced to treat heat-aggravated illness in homeless people, elderly patients with chronic ailments, and overdosing narcotics users. “The magnitude of the exposure, this was so far off the charts in terms of our historical …

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Public Health Experts ‘Flabbergasted’ That Biden Still Hasn’t Picked an FDA Chief

President Joe Biden’s failure to name someone to lead the Food and Drug Administration, more than 10 months after the election, has flummoxed public health experts who say it’s baffling for the agency to be without a permanent leader during a national health crisis. The pandemic has taxed the FDA, an 18,000-person agency whose chiefs …

Public Health Experts ‘Flabbergasted’ That Biden Still Hasn’t Picked an FDA Chief Read More »

New HHS proposed rule requires payers to disclose broker rates, share air ambulance data

In a set of newly proposed rules, HHS wants insurers offering individual and short-term, limited-duration coverage to disclose to members the rates they pay to brokers who help people select health plans. The government also wants to collect air ambulance data to help curb the high and unexpected costs that arise from these services.

HHS Releases $25.5B in Provider Relief Funds, Promises Increased Audits Around M&A Activity

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday that it is releasing another $25.5 billion under the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Since a first round of $46 billion was sent to over 320,000 Medicare providers in April 2020, HHS has released tens of billions of follow-on dollars through a mix of general …

HHS Releases $25.5B in Provider Relief Funds, Promises Increased Audits Around M&A Activity Read More »

Analysis: Care for the unvaccinated may be costing U.S. healthcare system $2.3B

The report, released by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Peterson Center on Healthcare, details the high cost of Covid care for the unvaccinated. In fact, the analysis indicates the figure could be even higher than $2.3 billion, as the authors did not take into account the cost of outpatient treatment for Covid-19.

Judge blocks HHS from requiring religious providers to perform gender-transition, abortion procedures

The permanent injunction prevents HHS from interpreting a section of the ACA, which bans discrimination, to include gender identity and pregnancy status. This move prohibits the federal agency from penalizing religious providers for refusing to perform or provide insurance coverage for gender-transition surgeries and abortions.

Report: First half of 2021 sees massive spike in number of data breach victims

Provider organizations accounted for 73% of all data breaches reported to the HHS in the first six months of 2021, impacting about 22.7 million individuals overall, a new report shows. This represents a 185% jump in individuals affected compared to the same period last year.

As Congress Wrestles With Plans to Expand Medicare, Becerra Says Any One Will Do

The Biden administration will support whatever expansions to Medicare Congress is willing to make, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Tuesday. Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working on plans both to add benefits to the health program for seniors and to lower its eligibility age from 65 to 60. But the efforts …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Becerra Urges Congress to Expand Medicare, Address Rx Prices

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Biden administration stands ready to work with Congress to address drug prices and expand Medicare, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a wide-ranging …

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ONC’s new interoperability standards support SDOH, sexual orientation data

The ONC has released the new version of the United States Core Data for Interoperability, a set of standards to enable seamless data exchange nationwide. The updated set includes standards for exchanging data related to social determinants of health, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Federal agencies issue rule enforcing surprise billing ban

HHS, along with other federal agencies, have released the first set of regulations that ban surprise billing and out-of-network charges for several types of services. More regulations are expected, especially those pertaining to the independent dispute resolution process that providers and payers will have to undergo if they cannot agree on out-of-network claims payment.

INVEST Precision Medicine Conference Video: Non Dilutive Funding for Life Science Startups

A panel discussion on non dilutive funding sources for biopharma and medtech startups from government research and industry grants to industry partnerships and venture debt.

Check out video highlights of INVEST Precision Medicine conference from pediatrics to funding trends

The INVEST Precision Medicine conference cast a spotlight on the role of children’s hospitals, biopharma companies, diagnostic companies and startups in biopharma innovation. The video recordings of the conference sessions are now available to view.

HHS Establishes $80M Public Health IT Workforce Program

What You Should Know: – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced the establishment of an $80M Public Health Informatics & Technology Workforce Development Program (PHIT Workforce Program) to strengthen U.S. public health informatics and data science. – The PHIT Workforce …

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Providers win deadline extension for use of CARES funds, but it may cause some confusion

The HHS has extended some of the deadlines for using provider relief funds and reporting on that use. Though the move is mostly positive for providers — who were clamoring for this extension — there may be some additional work required to prevent confusion.

HHS Issues New Reporting Requirements, Deadlines for Provider Relief Fund Recipients

Home health providers may have some additional financial aid in the not-too-distant future, as the federal government reportedly inches closer toward disbursing another round of CARES Act funds. As they wait for details, home health providers and other Medicare-reimbursed organizations on Friday received new reporting requirements and deadlines for the COVID-19 relief dollars they received …

HHS Issues New Reporting Requirements, Deadlines for Provider Relief Fund Recipients Read More »

Many New Moms Get Kicked Off Medicaid 2 Months After Giving Birth. Illinois Will Change That.

The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in which the maternal death rate has been rising. Each year, about 700 deaths are due to pregnancy, childbirth or subsequent complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. When someone dies while pregnant or within a …

Many New Moms Get Kicked Off Medicaid 2 Months After Giving Birth. Illinois Will Change That. Read More »

HHS Releases New Guidance on American Rescue Plan Funding for Medicaid HCBS

When President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan in March, he locked in an important payment bump for Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS). Among its many provisions, the $1.9 trillion legislative package raises the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for certain Medicaid HCBS by 10% from April 1 of 2021 through March 31 …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Drug Price Effort Hits a Snag

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The high cost of prescription drugs is a top health issue for the public and politicians, but concerns raised by a group of moderate Democrats threaten to derail a bill being pushed by House Democratic leaders. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the …

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32 hospitals in non-Medicaid expansion states sue HHS over payments for low-income patients

The hospitals are pushing HHS to recognize patients eligible for Medicaid under the ACA as “low-income” when calculating Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments in states that did not expand Medicaid. The agency’s refusal to do so resulted in the hospitals receiving lower reimbursements for three years, the lawsuit claims.

Providers to HHS: ACO quality reporting changes create undue burdens

Eleven provider organizations sent a letter to HHS urging them to reconsider the new rules around quality measurement and reporting for ACOs. One of the reasons these rules are burdensome and should be revised is the lack of EHR interoperability, they said.

Dr. Micky Tripathi on interoperability, health equity & how his work with VCs will help him lead the ONC

In a wide-ranging interview, the National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Micky Tripathi discussed his career and how his varied experiences have expanded his perspective. He also spoke about ONC’s plans for the future, which include “evangelizing” about the opportunities the federal interoperability rules will create for the industry.

HHS reverses previous administration’s push to deregulate more than 80 medical devices

In the final days of the Trump Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services sought to deregulate 83 different types of medical devices, citing a lack of reported adverse events. But the Food and Drug Administration put an end to the sudden reversal, saying the proposed exemptions were “flawed.” 

Humana Health Plan Overcharged Medicare by Nearly $200 Million, Federal Audit Finds

A Humana Inc. health plan for seniors in Florida improperly collected nearly $200 million in 2015 by overstating how sick some patients were, according to a new federal audit, which seeks to claw back the money. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. The Health and Human Services Office of …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Pause and Effect on Covid Vaccines

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The effort to vaccinate Americans against covid-19 took a hit this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration jointly called for a pause in use of the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson while experts try to figure …

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Public health, racial equity, climate action drive Biden’s budget requests for healthcare

President Joe Biden has submitted his discretionary budget for 2022 to Congress. Among its healthcare provisions are funding requests for the CDC, mental health and social determinants of health programs. But there are some unusual requests as well, such as funding for an Office of Climate Change and Health Equity.

Q1 2021 Health IT/Digital Health PC/VE, M&A, IPOs/ SPACs Activity

The first quarter of 2021 has been one of investor optimism as the vaccine rollout continues ahead of expectations and economic activity begins to accelerate in response.  Within the Health IT industry, the already strong investment and M&A trends seen in 2020 have only accelerated.  Over the course of the quarter, we observed $7 billion in private …

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Enforcement landscape for HHS data-sharing rules is hazy, experts say

The HHS’ new interoperability and information blocking rules have been in effect for one week, yet how they will be enforced is unclear. But there are some clues that could provide a glimpse into what the enforcement landscape might look like, and the best thing providers and IT developers can do is be proactive, experts …

Enforcement landscape for HHS data-sharing rules is hazy, experts say Read More »

Being “complaint proof” on information blocking won’t be easy for providers, vendors

The HHS’ information blocking rule goes into effect Monday, and for nearly a year, providers and IT vendors have been racing to prepare. But they have faced several hurdles along the way, including figuring out how to handle scenarios that could make them non-compliant.

Democrats Could Undo Trump Policies Faster, But They’re Not. Why?

Undoing many of the policies of his predecessor is one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities. In early February, Biden even got a little defensive about all the executive actions he was taking in his first days in office to halt policies set by President Donald Trump. “I’m not making new law,” he said Feb. …

Democrats Could Undo Trump Policies Faster, But They’re Not. Why? Read More »

The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse?

KHN has put together an interactive tool of significant health policies implemented by the Trump administration using its own authority — executive orders, agency guidance or formal regulations — and is tracking Biden administration and court actions. We will update this chart as actions are taken. Topics: Affordable Care Act | HHS Operations | Immigration …

The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse? Read More »

Journalists Dissect Covid Vaccines and Variants

KHN correspondent Rachana Pradhan discussed vaccine production and supply chains on KERA’s “Think” with host Krys Boyd, C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and PBS’ “NewsHour Weekend.” She also joined Newsy to discuss how federal rules restrict patients and their doctors from knowing whether someone has been infected by a covid-19 variant. Click here to hear Pradhan on …

Journalists Dissect Covid Vaccines and Variants Read More »

Biden Announces Deal With Merck, Johnson & Johnson to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Production

What You Should Know: – President Biden’s administration today announced a historic manufacturing deal between Merck and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), to expand production of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine. The collaboration will increase manufacture of vaccine drug substance, as well as its fill-finish capacity – two of the biggest bottlenecks facing J&J in the production of …

Biden Announces Deal With Merck, Johnson & Johnson to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Production Read More »

Becerra Has Long Backed Single-Payer. That Doesn’t Mean It Will Happen if He’s HHS Secretary.

“Becerra supports Bernie’s government takeover of your health care, eliminating your employer-provided coverage.” — TV ad funded by Cotton for Senate, Feb. 22 This story was produced in partnership with PolitiFact. It can be republished for free. A digital ad running in Georgia and New Hampshire says Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and …

Becerra Has Long Backed Single-Payer. That Doesn’t Mean It Will Happen if He’s HHS Secretary. Read More »

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Staffing Up at HHS

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. More than a month into President Joe Biden’s term, nominees to fill some of the top posts at the Department of Health and Human Services are finally getting confirmation hearings in the Senate, starting with the nominee for secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Barring …

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Journalists Weigh In on Biden’s HHS Pick

KHN senior correspondent Noam Levey discussed Xavier Becerra’s nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with KQED’s “Forum” on Tuesday. Click here to hear Levey on KQED Read “‘It’s a Minefield’: Biden Health Pick Must Tread Carefully on Abortion and Family Planning” by Levey and California Healthline correspondent Rachel Bluth KHN …

Journalists Weigh In on Biden’s HHS Pick Read More »

Rural Access to Home Health Services, PACE Among Lawmakers’ Future Spending Priorities

U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly highlighted a need to rethink the nation’s long-term care landscape in recent months, partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but also because of the country’s rapidly changing demographics. A recently published budget report from the House Appropriations Committee obtained by Home Health Care News offers further insight into that call …

Rural Access to Home Health Services, PACE Among Lawmakers’ Future Spending Priorities Read More »

‘It’s a Minefield’: Biden Health Pick Must Tread Carefully on Abortion and Family Planning

This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. As President Joe Biden works to overhaul U.S. health care policy, few challenges loom larger for his health secretary than restoring access to family planning while parrying legal challenges to abortion proliferating across the country. Physicians, clinics and women’s health advocates are looking …

‘It’s a Minefield’: Biden Health Pick Must Tread Carefully on Abortion and Family Planning Read More »

Kathleen Sebelius at Health Datapalooza: To push ACA forward, forget bipartisanship

At a Health Datapalooza session, former HHS head Kathleen Sebelius looked back on lessons learned in 2009 when the Affordable Care Act was moving through Congress. She cautioned the Biden administration against leaning on bipartisanship when restoring the healthcare law.

What providers need to know about OIG’s plans to audit telehealth services

The Office of the Inspector General will audit Medicare Part B telehealth services to detect potential vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. To prepare, providers must first take stock of their programs and conduct audits of their own, experts say.

As Becerra Awaits HHS Confirmation, Biden Reportedly Narrows Picks to Head CMS

There’s a new name being circulated for President Joe Biden’s top pick to lead the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Chiquita Brooks-LaSure — a former policy official who played a key role in guiding the Affordable Care Act through passage and implementation — is now the likeliest candidate to run CMS, according …

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Nuevos casos de Covid caen un 25% o más a medida que cambian conductas

Una docena de estados están reportando caídas del 25% o más en nuevos casos de covid-19, y más de 1,200 condados también observan esta baja, según muestran datos federales publicados esta semana. Expertos dicen que la caída puede estar relacionada con el creciente temor al virus después que alcanzara niveles récord, así como con la …

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New Covid Cases Plunge 25% or More As Behavior Changes

A dozen states are reporting drops of 25% or more in new covid-19 cases and more than 1,200 counties have seen the same, federal data released Wednesday shows. Experts say the plunge may relate to growing fear of the virus after it reached record-high levels, as well as soaring hopes of getting vaccinated soon. Use …

New Covid Cases Plunge 25% or More As Behavior Changes Read More »

Onyx, AMA Innovations Form Collaboration to Build FHIR-Based Messaging

What You Should Know: – Onyx and AMA Innovations partner to rethink ways FHIR-based messaging technology can improve links between healthcare and community-based organizations. – As part of the collaboration, both organizations will jointly target grant opportunities through HHS’ Administration for Community Living’s Social Care Referrals Challenge Program. Onyx Technology LLC and AMA Innovations Inc., …

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Biden Administration Includes ‘Home Care Workforce Crisis’ in New Pandemic Plan

President Joe Biden focused on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during his first full day in office Thursday. In doing so, he once again drew attention to home-based care and getting the current “workforce crisis” under control. “Our national strategy is comprehensive,” Biden said during an address from the White House. “It’s based on science, not …

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In the final days of Trump administration, agencies clashed over how to regulate medical AI

The agency published its first action plan last week for how it plans to regulate machine learning-based software as a medical device. To start, the FDA said it will issue guidance on how changes to algorithms should be regulated as they “learn.”

To Beat COVID-19, We Need A Modern Approach to Public Health Data

Ed Simcox, Chief Strategy Officer at LifeOmic The COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken 270,000 American lives to date, has shined a light on another crisis — the U.S. currently has no standardized system for reporting public health data. Health departments all over the country resort to using paper, fax, phone, and email to transmit and …

To Beat COVID-19, We Need A Modern Approach to Public Health Data Read More »

HHS Awards Funds to Increase Data Sharing Between HIEs & Immunization Registries

What You Should Know: – The ONC today unveiled a series of investments to improve the sharing of health information related to vaccination. – The new investments will provide opportunities to track vaccination progress, help clinicians contact high-risk patients, and help identify patients due to receive the second dose of the vaccine. The U.S. Department …

HHS Awards Funds to Increase Data Sharing Between HIEs & Immunization Registries Read More »

California Counties ‘Flying the Plane as We Build It’ in a Plodding Vaccine Rollout

USE OUR CONTENT It can be republished for free. In these first lumbering weeks of the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history, Dr. Julie Vaishampayan has had a battlefront view of a daunting logistical operation. Vaishampayan is the health officer in Stanislaus County, an almond-growing mecca in California’s Central Valley that has recorded about 40,000 …

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Aunque controlen el Senado, demócratas necesitarán apoyo republicano en temas clave de salud

Ante la pandemia, los demócratas han abogado por ayudas más generosas, más presión sobre las farmacéuticas para que bajen los precios y más atención al racismo sistémico en la atención de salud. El 20 de enero, con el control del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes, tendrán el poder de elegir qué propuestas de salud …

Aunque controlen el Senado, demócratas necesitarán apoyo republicano en temas clave de salud Read More »

Even With Senate Control, Democrats Will Need Buy-In From GOP on Key Health Priorities

Use Our Content It can be republished for free. Democrats have argued for more generous pandemic relief, more pressure on drugmakers to lower prices and more attention to systemic racism in health care. On Jan. 20, with control of the Senate and the House of Representatives, they’ll have the power to choose which health care …

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HHS Announces Plans to Expand the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model

Home health providers are getting one of their biggest wishes granted. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday that it is expanding the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model. First implemented in 2016, the HHVBP Model is currently active in just nine states: Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Arizona, Iowa, …

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Meaningful Use of Genomics Requires Informatics Beyond EMRs

Assaf Halevy, Founder and CEO of 2bPrecise Electronic medical records (EMRs) are widely expected to serve as a cornerstone technology that drives the delivery of modern patient care.  But can the EMR alone support all the informatics capabilities required by an ever-evolving healthcare industry? The rapid growth of precision medicine, particularly the use of genetic …

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46 hospitals file suit to reverse HHS bad debt policy

A group of hospitals have sued HHS Secretary Alex Azar, arguing he should reverse a policy that prevents hospitals from getting reimbursed for Medicare-related bad debts pending at outside collection agencies. The policy has raised hospital debt payments by about $1.35 million, the lawsuit claims.

Provider groups, hospitals file motion to stop CMS from enforcing price transparency rule

The American Hospital Association and several other entities, including some hospitals, filed an emergency motion to block CMS from enforcing the hospital price transparency rule set to take effect Jan. 1. Provider groups are arguing that complying with the rule would shift focus away from pandemic-related efforts.

Stimulus Money, Therapy Changes and COVID-19 Strategies: Top Home Health Stories of 2020

The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) was supposed to define home health care in 2020. Instead, this year was almost entirely shaped by COVID-19, a point that’s reinforced by the most widely read stories on Home Health Care News. Of the top-10 stories on HHCN in 2020, eight were related to coronavirus coverage. From the first …

Stimulus Money, Therapy Changes and COVID-19 Strategies: Top Home Health Stories of 2020 Read More »

Hospitals sue drug companies over discount program

The lawsuit follows action by at least a half-dozen drug companies to rein in what they see as waste and abuse in the program, overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, the Hospital plaintiffs have a potentially powerful ally in the person picked to head the department under the incoming Biden administration.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccines Coming Soon but COVID Relief Bill Still Stalled

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The first vaccine to protect against COVID-19 could be approved in the U.S. within days, but legislation to help fund its distribution remains mired in Congress. And President-elect Joe Biden has tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his secretary of Health and Human Services. …

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Trump Plan May Set Clock Ticking on Many Health Rules — Setting Off Alarms

The Trump administration wants to require the Department of Health and Human Services to review most of its regulations by 2023 — and automatically void those not assessed in time. A proposed rule would require HHS to analyze within 24 months about 2,400 regulations — rules that affect tens of millions of Americans on everything …

Trump Plan May Set Clock Ticking on Many Health Rules — Setting Off Alarms Read More »

With Becerra as HHS Pick, California Plots More Progressive Health Care Agenda

SACRAMENTO — President-elect Joe Biden didn’t back “Medicare for All” during his campaign. Yet his choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve in the nation’s top health care post is fueling California lawmakers’ most progressive health care dreams, including pursuing a government-run single-payer system at the state level. “Now it’s much more real, …

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Billions in Federal Provider Relief Funds Have Been Distributed. Now Come Auditing and Compliance.

Anna E. Stevens, CPA, is the Partner-in-Charge of Health Care Services at Weaver, Of the $175 billion in federal Provider Relief Funds (PRF) allocated to healthcare providers, $125 billion has been accepted by hospitals and healthcare providers. The cash infusion was designed to cover costs related to COVID-19 related care. These targeted payments were earmarked …

Billions in Federal Provider Relief Funds Have Been Distributed. Now Come Auditing and Compliance. Read More »

Becerra, un candidato para el HHS con habilidad política pero sin experiencia en salud

Xavier Becerra, elegido por el presidente electo Joe Biden para dirigir el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHS), será un secretario de la era pandémica, sin experiencia en salud pública. Si eso importa o no, depende de quién conteste. Becerra construyó su carrera en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos antes de …

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In Becerra, an HHS Nominee With Political Skill But No Front-Line Health Experience

Xavier Becerra, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, is set to be a pandemic-era secretary with no public health experience. Whether that matters depends on whom you ask. Becerra built his career in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming California’s attorney general, and some wonder whether his …

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Senate Republicans Throw the Brakes on Timing for Becerra Hearings

USE OUR CONTENT It can be republished for free. Senate Republicans are signaling they will delay considering President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, threatening to slow the Biden administration’s response to the pandemic that has killed more than 283,000 Americans. On Monday, Republican spokespeople for the committees responsible …

Senate Republicans Throw the Brakes on Timing for Becerra Hearings Read More »

Biden Picks California Attorney General Becerra to Lead HHS, COVID-19 Response

President-elect Joe Biden has picked Xavier Becerra, the current attorney general of California, to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), according to several news reports. Prior to serving as California’s top prosecutor, Becerra represented the Los Angeles area in Congress for 12 years. HHS is currently headed by Secretary Alex Azar. …

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Xavier Becerra en sus propias palabras: “La atención de salud es un derecho”

El presidente electo Joe Biden nombró al fiscal general de California, Xavier Becerra, para dirigir el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHS) de los Estados Unidos. Becerra, quien sería el primer secretario latino del HHS, ha tomado algunas posiciones innovadoras en atención de salud, especialmente desde que se convirtió en fiscal general, en 2017. …

Xavier Becerra en sus propias palabras: “La atención de salud es un derecho” Read More »

Xavier Becerra in His Own Words: ‘Health Care Is a Right’

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Becerra, who would be the nation’s first Latino HHS secretary, has taken some ground-breaking positions on health care, especially since he became attorney general in 2017. He has sued the Trump administration dozens of times …

Xavier Becerra in His Own Words: ‘Health Care Is a Right’ Read More »

5 Myth-Busting New Hospital ADT Notification Requirements

 Claudia Williams, CEO of Manifest MedEx When doctors know their patients have been to the hospital, they can act fast to provide needed support. Widespread use of hospital event notifications is associated with all kinds of health benefits, including a 10 percent decrease in readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries. These event notifications are one of the …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Who Will Run the Biden Health Effort?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The quadrennial guessing game about who will get what health job in a new presidential administration has taken on a new urgency in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage. Meanwhile, as two promising vaccine candidates inch closer to approval, the federal government is …

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HHS Taps CVS Health for Pilot to Administer COVID-19 Therapy to Patients At Home & Long-Term Care Facilities

What You Should Know: – Today, CVS Health was selected by HHS, as part of Operation Warp Speed, to pilot the administration of a limited supply of bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody therapy, with eligible COVID-19 patients at-risk of severe infection or complications resulting from the virus. – Under this pilot, Coram, the specialty pharmacy and …

HHS Taps CVS Health for Pilot to Administer COVID-19 Therapy to Patients At Home & Long-Term Care Facilities Read More »

Google Cloud Launches Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program

What You Should Know: – Google Cloud launches Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program to help healthcare organizations achieve healthcare data interoperability. Today, Google Cloud launched the Google Cloud Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program, helping organizations achieve data interoperability in advance of upcoming HHS deadlines and to enable future innovation. Alongside partners like Bain, BCG, Deloitte, HCL, KPMG, …

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FDA Signs Off on First At-Home Coronavirus Test

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday issued an emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 diagnostic at-home test. The move will not have an immediate impact on in-home care providers, but it could give them one more tool in their pandemic toolbox in weeks to come. The FDA specifically signed off on the …

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How COVID-19 Has Revealed Healthcare’s Blockchain Use Cases

Brett Furst, President at HHS Technology Group Blockchain technology has somewhat infamously been described as “a solution in search of a problem,” but as the healthcare industry responds to the demands of the pandemic, several valuable use cases have surfaced that could benefit from employing the emerging technology.   Due in large part due to its …

How COVID-19 Has Revealed Healthcare’s Blockchain Use Cases Read More »

ASN, HHS Launches KidneyX COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge

What You Should Know: – The HHS and the American Society of Nephrology announces the launch of the COVID-19 Kindey Care Challenge. – The $300k challenge aims to identify and share these frontline solutions so all communities can benefit. Winners will receive $20,000 each in recognition of their solutions. The U.S. Department of Health and …

ASN, HHS Launches KidneyX COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge Read More »

Florida Fails to Attract Bidders for Canada Drug Importation Program

Florida’s plan to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada — designed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and endorsed by President Donald Trump — has tasted its first bitter pill. No private firms bid on Florida’s $30 million contract to set up and operate a drug importation program. Bids were due at the end of September. The …

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Innovaccer Unveils Risk Adjustment Solution For Improved Coding Accuracy

What You Should Know: – Innovaccer unveils new risk adjustment solution to help providers better segment their population to refine the risk scoring process and improve coding accuracy and efficiency, thereby improving performance on risk-based contracts. – The solution utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make risk predictions. Innovaccer, Inc., a …

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Getting Beyond the Telehealth ‘Stop-Gap’ Mentality

Roland Therriault, President, InSync Healthcare Solutions Since COVID-19 emerged as a major health threat, virtual care has taken off. As many as 46% of patients reported in late April that they had used telehealth to replace a canceled healthcare visit in 2020, while 48% of physicians said they had started using telehealth to treat patients.   …

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3 Telemedicine Security and Compliance Best Practices

Gerry Miller, Founder & CEO at Cloudticity The coronavirus pandemic accelerated telemedicine exponentially as patients and doctors switched from in-person visits to remote consultations. Health providers rapidly scaled virtual offerings in March and April and traffic volumes soared to unprecedented levels, with practices “seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients by telehealth than …

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Anthem Expands Relationship with doc.ai to Power Digital Health Offerings

What You Should Know: – Anthem extends the use of doc.ai’s platform and portfolio of privacy-first technologies and artificial intelligence software services to drive the personalization of Anthem’s digital assets and create improved value for users. – doc.ai’s product offerings are deployed on its cloud-agnostic and zero-trust infrastructure that lets clients like Anthem launch products …

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Bridge Connector Lands $25.5M to Expand Healthcare Integration Platform

What You Should Know: – Bridge Connector raises $25.5 million in Series B funding to advance interoperability layer for healthcare organizations as demand for integrated health data intensifies during COVID-19 pandemic. – The investment will support the growth of Destinations, the company’s new integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) that connects health data systems using use-case-based interoperability blueprints to …

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District judge blocks HHS rule that would end transgender health protections

A U.S. district judge blocked a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services that would end anti-discrimination provisions protecting transgender patients. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Frederic Block said that the rule violated a recent Supreme Court decision protecting LGBTQ workers’ rights.

COVID Data Failures Create Pressure for Public Health System Overhaul

After terrorists slammed a plane into the Pentagon on 9/11, ambulances rushed scores of the injured to community hospitals, but only three of the patients were taken to specialized trauma wards. The reason: The hospitals and ambulances had no real-time information-sharing system. Nineteen years later, there is still no national data network that enables the …

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HHS Announces Investments for STAR HIE Program to Support State and Local Public Health Agencies

What You Should Know: – HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will award up to five 5 cooperative agreements under the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange (STAR HIE) Program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity to expand and accelerate innovative uses of electronic health information via health information exchanges (HIEs) to support state and local public health agencies. …

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Could Labs That Test Livestock Ease COVID Testing Backlog for People? Well … Maybe.

In a heated exchange late last month on CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper pressed Adm. Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services assistant secretary who oversees COVID testing efforts for the Trump administration, on why the government isn’t requiring commercial labs to increase testing capacity in order to speed turnaround time. Giroir’s …

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OIG: CMS Could Have Saved $192M with Stronger LUPA Oversight

Federal watchdogs are once again setting their sights on perceived improper billing practices by home health agencies. In an audit report published last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that stronger oversight of Low Utilization Payment Adjustments (LUPAs) in home health care could have saved …

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Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the COVID-19 Era

Healthcare IT consultants’ work involving health records may expose them – and their provider and payer clients – to regulatory, legal, financial, and reputational risk. These risks are potentially higher in the COVID-19 era, with many of their employees working from home and accessing sensitive records and networks from remote locations. According to the US …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci

What The Health? · The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News @jrovner Read Julie’s Stories Erin Mershon STAT @eemershon Read Erin’s Stories Alice Miranda Ollstein Politico @AliceOllstein Read Alice’s Stories Paige Winfield Cunningham The Washington Post @pw_cunningham Read Paige’s Stories Not …

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Listen: A Bureaucratic Shuffle for Hospital COVID Data

Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, on Wednesday joined Rob Ferrett, host of “Central Time” on Wisconsin Public Radio, to discuss the Trump administration’s announcement that hospital data on coronavirus cases will no longer be routed to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention and instead will go to the Department of Health and …

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HHS Taps Fenway Health as Pilot Site for Precision Medicine Project

What You Should Know: – Fenway Health has been selected as the pilot site to participate in the Advancing Standards for Precision Medicine (ASPM) project. – The ASPM project is focused on how healthcare providers can systematically identify the socio-economic factors that may impact the health of patients in order to provide more individualized care …

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Azar Says Federal Law Had Preexisting Conditions Covered Before ACA. Not So Much.

“First off, it’s in statute already in HIPAA that preexisting conditions are covered.” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, on July 9, speaking at a virtual summit sponsored by The Hill newspaper One of the most popular features of the Affordable Care Act is its guarantee of insurance coverage — at no greater cost …

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Telemedicine & Telehealth Emerge as Medical Marketing Opportunities During COVID

March 17, 2020, may well be remembered as the day the telemedicine revolution finally took off. Telemedicine and Telehealth‘s adoption, fast-tracked by Coronavirus/COVID, will create profound changes in how healthcare services are provided — while also spawning new healthcare marketing opportunities. Telemedicine & Telehealth: Innovation & Opportunities Earlier last month, in the interest of public safety, …

Telemedicine & Telehealth Emerge as Medical Marketing Opportunities During COVID

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