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There are 126 administrative law judges (ALJs) and other comparable officials working at the Department of Health and Human Services, hearing disputes involving Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, claims, fraud and abuse; penalties for health information privacy and security violations; research misconduct; and more. A Supreme Court case last year, however, raised potential questions about the appointments of all federal ALJs. The Court in June ruled that ALJs at the Securities and Exchange Commi...
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New HRSA Program Will Help Clinicians and Patients

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On December 27, 2018 HRSA launched a program that is critical to HHS’ response to the opioid crisis. This National Health Service Corps Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Progam will support the HHS Five-Point Opioid Strategy by increasing patient access to high-quality substance use disorder preventive, treatment, and recovery services. The program will provide eligible health care clinicians with student loan repayment assistance in exchange for their service on the front lines o...
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The recently-opened Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) has been buzzing with the sound of industry collaboration and coordination. HC3 will host tours, and brief stakeholder organizations to share capabilities and services. HC3 strengthens coordination and information sharing within the health care and public health sector and cultivates cybersecurity resilience by providing timely and actionable cybersecurity intelligence to health organizations.   HC3’s coordinating role wi...
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My father was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War and he shared his fascination with planes, NASA and anything to do with space with me. One of my first memories was of watching a rerun with him of Neil Armstrong’s landing on the Moon. Even though my career has kept me Earth-bound, dealing with health and human services at HHS, I’ve remained fascinated with space. I have no regrets, but, interestingly, my job at HHS occasionally gives me the opportunity to interact with space issues. Recent...
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently asked the public: “How can we get drug companies to give American doctors and patients better deals on Medicare Part B drugs?” Somehow, that has led to accusations of importing price controls, threatening patient access, and jeopardizing new cures. It’s time to set the record straight. Medicare isn’t proposing to set prices in Medicare Part B; it already sets prices in Medicare Part B. CMS isn’t proposing to import foreign price co...
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From day one, President Trump has made it clear that lowering prescription drug costs is a top priority. In May, the President released his drug-pricing blueprint, which includes the most sweeping set of policies to lower drug prices ever put forth by an administration. HHS has been hard at work to make the President’s vision a reality – because the status quo is simply unacceptable. Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced proposed changes to Medicare Part D to lower...
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Celebrating National Rural Health Day

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More than 60 million Americans live in rural communities—small towns, farming communities and villages—which are the social and economic backbone of the nation. Yet while these communities may be great places to live and work, they have their own special healthcare challenges. Rural residents tend to be older and in poorer health than their urban counterparts. They experience greater rates of chronic disease than other U.S. populations. And they have few resources to deal with their medical an...
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Researchers Explore Health Effects of E-Cigarettes

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It’s not uncommon these days to see people using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in restaurants, bars and parks, all while huge plumes of aerosol swirl around them. Also known as “vaping,” the use of these  hand-held devices has become common, and some teenagers, according to the CDC and FDA, are their biggest fans: More than 2 million middle and high school students use the products, which come in assorted flavors and forms, from devices that resemble regular cigarettes to those that re...
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American Indian and Alaska Native communities across the country are being impacted by the opioid epidemic. IHS is working in partnership with tribes to prevent opioid misuse, treat addiction, and support recovery. This includes promoting safe and effective therapies to help patients stop the inappropriate use of pain medications. The Indian Health Service is pleased to announce the release of a new Internet Eligible Controlled Substance Provider Designation policy that is designed to increase ...
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Last week, as part of fulfilling President Trump’s promise to lower drug prices and cut down on foreign governments’ freeriding, HHS put forth a new way of paying for physician-administered drugs within Medicare, the International Price Index (IPI) Model. The model aims to: Reduce the price Medicare pays for a set of costly drugs to closer to what other countries pay. Remove perverse incentives that encourage the prescribing of more expensive drugs. Reduce physician burden associated with “...
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Articles written by the American Institute of Healthcare Compliance are under Copyright Notice: © 2016-2019 American Institute of Healthcare Compliance, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Views expressed through RSS feeds or remarks made on this blog or website are solely those of the original authors and other contributors and do not necessarily represent those of the American Institute of Healthcare Compliance and/or staff.