OMB to Disclose Plans for Restructuring of HHS, USDA

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is expected to unveil plans this month to move several welfare-related functions from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Specifically, the restructuring would relocate the $70 billion food stamp program from Agriculture to HHS, and it would also […]

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HHS Creates DRIVe Initiative to End Infectious Disease Threats

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened a new office known as the Division for Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe), which has been tasked with creating public-private partnerships to detect and battle infectious diseases before they become epidemics. “It takes too long to recognize when a disease, virus or biological threat has […]

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HHS Seeks to Modify Disclosure Rule, Establish Means to Share HIPAA Fines with Victims

Following comments made in March by Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs), seeking comments on revising the disclosure rule covering protected health information (PHI) and on sharing HIPAA Privacy Rule violation fines with victims of […]

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HHS Releases Funding to Fight Opioid Crisis

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released the second year of funding to 50 states, four U.S. territories, and the free associated states of Palau and Micronesia, totaling $485 million to continue the nation’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. “The Trump administration is partnering with states and territories to accelerate the […]

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States Move to Fill in the Voids in Trumpcare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) is still the law of the land, but the Trump administration has modified so many of its provisions — including the elimination of a tax penalty for not having health insurance — that the remaining parts of the ACA are forcing some states, and even citizen initiatives, to […]

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HHS, DOJ Turn Up the HEAT* on Health Care Fraud, Recover $2.6 Billion

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions today released a fiscal year (FY) 2017 Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program report showing that for every dollar the federal government spent on healthcare related fraud and abuse investigations in the last three years, the government recovered $4. Additionally, the report […]

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HHS Releases Guide on Obtaining One’s Health Records

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today released the ONC Guide to Getting and Using your Health Records, a new online resource for individuals, patients, and caregivers. This new resource supports both the 21st Century Cures Act goal of empowering patients and improving patients’ access […]

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OCR Chief to Seek Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule and Breach Enforcement

Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with enforcement powers over the HIPAA Privacy Rule and breaches of protected health information (PHI), announced he is looking to make some changes to both and will issue Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) and Requests for Information (RFIs) before proceeding. Specifically, he told a HIPAA […]

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HHS to Monitor Controlled Substance Prescriptions as Part of Opioid Abuse Program

As part of President Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand announced March 19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will spend $10 billion to help states monitor opioid prescriptions electronically. Part of the proposal would “require states to monitor high-risk billing activity to identify and remediate abnormal […]

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HIPAA Violations Don’t End with the Closing of a Business, OCR Says

A receiver appointed to liquidate the assets of Filefax, Inc. has agreed to pay $100,000 out of the receivership estate to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in order to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Filefax, located in Northbrook, […]

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