Indiana Joins Kentucky in Requiring Work for Medicaid

On Friday, Feb. 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the Healthy Indiana Plan requiring some 130,000 state residents on Medicaid who aren’t already in compliance to work, enroll in school, undergo job training or volunteer for at least 20 hours a week over eight months each year. The plan follows closely on […]

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OCR Issues Newsletter Warning about Cyber Threats to PHI

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in January published a newsletter concerning cyber threats to entities storing PHI (protected health information), which is covered by the privacy and security rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The newsletter begins by nothing that “Organizations […]

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Azar Sworn in at HHS as Agency Touts Its Accomplishments

Former pharma executive Alex Azar has been sworn in as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), following the release of an agency report touting its accomplishments under President Trump. At his swearing in this morning, Azar was tasked by President Trump to lower drug prices and wage a winning battle […]

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HHS Allows States to Ban Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

On Friday, Jan. 19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two major actions — in its words — “to protect life and the conscience rights of Americans.” HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new guidance to state Medicaid directors restoring state flexibility to decide program standards. The letter […]

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HHS Launches Conscience and Religious Freedom Division

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this morning announced the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience […]

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HHS Announces Opioid Code-a-Thon Winners

On Dec. 6 and 7, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted a first-of-its-kind, two-day Code-a-Thon to help turn data into lifesaving solutions to the opioid epidemic. Fifty teams, comprised of three to five members of computer programmers each, public health advocates, and innovators worked for over 24 hours to create data-driven solutions that can […]

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Trump Nominates Pharma Exec to Head HHS

President Trump has nominated Alex Azar to head up the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As recently as January of this year, Azar was president of the American wing of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, where he served from 2012 in various posts. Under President George W. Bush, Azar served as deputy secretary of […]

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HIPAA Allows Information Sharing with Loved Ones in Opioid Crisis, OCR Says

Following President Trump’s call to action that led to the declaration of a nationwide public health emergency regarding the opioid crisis, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is releasing new guidance on when and how healthcare providers can share a patient’s health information with his or her family members, friends, and legal personal representatives […]

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Trump Issues Executive Order to ‘Fix’ Obamacare

As anticipated, President Trump today signed an Executive Order that, once fully implemented, will give consumers new options for health insurance and expand employer-funder Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The executive action orders the Department of Labor (DOL) to look into ways of expanding Association Health Plans (AHPs) that can sell policies across state lines and […]

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Hargan Named New Acting HHS Secretary

Confirmed and sworn in just a week ago as the number two executive at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Eric Hargan, has now been named the department’s acting secretary, taking over for Don Wright. Wright had previously been named acting secretary by President Trump following the Sept. 29 resignation of Tom Price, […]

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