US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

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HHS cybersecurity center so unstable staff don't know if it exists, Congress argues

Jessica Davis | Health IT News | June 6, 2018

The Senate HELP and House Energy and Committees are highly concerned about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ cybersecurity plan, preparedness and the lack of leadership of its Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center -- and is demanding answers from HHS Secretary Alex Azar. The bipartisan letter to Azar outlines a laundry list of issues at HHS when it comes to its security plan. Among them, includes the temporary reassignment of two senior HCCIC officials in charge of the day-to-day operations.

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HHS IDEA Lab Hosting Innovation Day in DC on May 15

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is holding an Innovation Day on Monday, May 15th at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C. The day will feature presentations from teams across HHS who are using open source, collaborative, and entrepreneurial methods like design thinking and lean startup to improve how their office or agency delivers on the HHS mission. The day will also feature a panel on deploying creative thinking to improve work in government, and innovative speakers from government and the private sector.

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HHS IDEA Lab to Host Innovation Day on May 15

Join us for HHS Innovation Day on May 15th at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C., where you’ll experience first-hand how new approaches and creative thinking can advance our work in government. You’ll hear from stellar employees at HHS who are using entrepreneurial methods like design thinking and lean startup to improve how their office or agency delivers on the HHS mission. The day will also feature a panel on deploying creative thinking to improve work in government, and innovative speakers from government and the private sector.

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HHS Launches Cash Contest for Innovative FHIR Apps

Press Release | Department of Health and Human Services | March 1, 2016

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced today a three-part strategy to spur the development of market-ready, user-friendly software applications (apps) for consumers and health care providers...The strategy includes two software app challenges with award prizes totaling $175,000 each: one focused on consumer use and one focused on provider use. Additionally, a competitive funding opportunity of up to $275,000 will support the development of an open resource to make it easier for developers to publish their apps and for providers to discover and compare them...

HHS Makes Changes to 'Wall of Shame' Breach Reporting Site

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee | Gov Info Security | July 25, 2017

The Department of Health and Human Services has made changes to its website, widely referred to as the "wall of shame," that lists reports of major health data breaches affecting 500 or more individuals. The changes come after complaints from some members of Congress and others that the website unfairly exposes breached organizations to endless public scrutiny because incidents are indefinitely listed on the site...

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HHS Offers Hurricane Guidance to Healthcare Facilities

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | September 13, 2017

With Florida still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services has issued draft guidance to help healthcare facilities with disaster planning and recovery for major hurricanes. Based on lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and others, the document—from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response—provides an overview of the “potential significant public health and medical response and recovery needs facing hurricane- and severe storm-affected areas.” Among the topics in the draft are those covering health information management...

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HHS Releases Interoperability Rules

Press Release | HHS | February 11, 2019

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today proposed new rules to support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. The rules, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would increase choice and competition while fostering innovation that promotes patient access to and control over their health information. The proposed ONC rule would require that patient electronic access to this electronic health information (EHI) be made available at no cost.

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HHS Releases Landmark Report: Reforming America's Healthcare System

On December 3, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an extensive, 120-page report on the administration's proposals to reform the healthcare system. The report, titled Reforming America's Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition, is divided into four major sections. The report that government policy of the last few years has suppressed competition, increased prices for healthcare, and limited choices for consumers. Though rich in detail as it tries to prove each of these points, the more than fifty recommendations are often broad and aspirational rather than practical. Since I am not a health economist, I will leave the market issues to others to discuss (many of the ideas in this report have been vetted and discussed by others previously). But there are two sections of the report which make direct mention of Health IT.

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HHS Seeks to Reorient Obamacare Innovation Center

Charles S. Clark | Government Executive | September 26, 2017

Even as the Trump administration works to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it is taking advantage of one of the 2010 law's provisions to advance its own take on health system innovation. Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, on Sept. 20 announced plans to redirect the six-year-old Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the Health and Human Services Department. Its mission is to test new approaches or models to pay for and deliver high-quality health care more efficiently...

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HIMSS19: Open Source Software for Disaster Preparedness and Response

Although not officially listed as a track at the HIMSS19 conference, there are a series of very important presentations on the use of open source software for disaster preparedness and response. This is a critical topic that we have covered extensively in Open Health News. As we detailed in this article, there was a major failure in being able to provide victims of Hurricane Harvey, as well as Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria with access to their medical records. Few emergency medical responders could access their records either. The two success stories that came out of the hurricanes were two open source electronic health record (EHR) systems, OpenEMR and the VA's open source VistA EHR.

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HLN Releases New Version of Open Source Immunization Forecaster

Press Release | HLN Consulting | August 2, 2017

HLN Consulting has released a new version of the award winning Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is a service-oriented, standards-based immunization forecasting software system that evaluates a patient's immunization history and generates the appropriate immunization recommendations. ICE can be used in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Records (EHR), Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems. The release includes changes to the rules for several vaccine series, including Polio, Meningococcal ACWY, and Influenza.

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HLN Releases Roadmap for Open Source Immunization Forecaster

Press Release | HLN Consulting | September 18, 2017

On September 7, 2017 HLN Consulting released a product Roadmap for its award winning Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is an open source service-oriented, standards-based immunization forecasting software system that evaluates a patient's immunization history and generates the appropriate immunization recommendations. The Roadmap describes modifications that have already been scheduled for inclusion in new releases of ICE in the near future, in addition to ongoing changes that may be required to maintain compliance with Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations...

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HLN Releases v 1.9.1.0 of its Open Source Immunization Forecaster

Press Release | HLN Consulting | October 11, 2017

HLN Consulting has released a new version of the award winning Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is a service-oriented, standards-based immunization forecasting software system that evaluates a patient's immunization history and generates the appropriate immunization recommendations. ICE can be used in Immunization Information Systems (IIS), Electronic Health Records (EHR), Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and Personal Health Record (PHR) Systems...

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How Community Health Centers Support Patient-Centered Care

Sara Heath | Patient Engagement HIT | August 21, 2017

Each year, HHS celebrates Community Health Centers week. It is a time where the agency recognizes the impact community health centers have on patient-centered care and how they promote access to care in vulnerable or medically underserved populations...

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Humetrix to Unveil its Medicare Approved iBlueButton 8.0 Mobile Platform at CES in Vegas

Press Release | Humetrix | January 3, 2019

At CES, Humetrix will unveil at booth 43943 of the Tech West/Sands Expo Health & Wellness Marketplace, its iBlueButton 8.0 mobile health platform approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for use by 53 million Americans covered by Medicare. A consumer life and cost saving digital health tool, iBlueButton 8.0 was introduced at the White House Blue Button Conference in August 2018 to illustrate how CMS approved applications powered by the Medicare Blue Button claim database can help millions of Americans in the Medicare program better manage their often complex and at times error-prone healthcare.

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