As government agencies shape their goals and priorities for the new administration, they continue to target waste, fraud, and abuse. Rob Owens, deputy inspector general for Management and Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), explained this week how HHS is targeting waste, fraud, and abuse by utilizing geospatial analytics and visualization as part of a Geographic Information System (GIS).

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Health

If President Biden’s requested $6.5 billion to launch the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) receives approval from Congress in Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations legislation, the new agency will use such funding to “accelerate” transformational innovation in health research with a focus on diseases, according to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra.

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Health and Human Services HHS

Perryn Ashmore is stepping down as CIO of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) later this month and is retiring from government service after long stints in senior IT management roles at HHS and several other Federal agencies, HHS confirmed to MeriTalk.

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IT

Federal Inspectors General have the crucial task of agency oversight, often handling that job for large agencies while operating on relatively small budgets. To keep up with their responsibilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, IG offices have had to leverage new technologies – and old technologies in new ways – over the past year-plus, IG officials explained today.

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The Indian Health Service (IHS) is looking for industry help researching, creating, and publishing a new IHS IT Strategic Plan, according to an April 2 request for quotation (RFQ). IHS is looking to have the new IT strategic plan completed before the end of Fiscal Year 2021.

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Health and Human Services HHS
Health and Human Services HHS

President Biden announced several senior appointments on Feb. 19 plans to the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Veterans Affairs (VA), including Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Health IT Medical Record

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed an AI strategy to enable AI fluency and adoption across the enterprise. The strategy also establishes an AI Council to oversee the agency’s AI implementation efforts.

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officially designated the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Quality Service Management Office (QSMO) to lead grant management process improvement efforts on a government-wide basis.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) named Oki Mek, a career public servant, its first Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO) in Dec. 2020, according to his LinkedIn. This is a new CXO-level position that puts Mek at the head of AI strategy for the agency.

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Health and Human Services HHS

President-elect Joe Biden said today he will nominate California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The nomination will be subject to Senate confirmation. Becerra is a former member of Congress and would become the first Latino to head HHS.

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Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, is leading a bipartisan group of 49 members of Congress urging Senate and House leadership to include in end-of-year legislation language to make permanent Medicare telehealth expansions that were enacted earlier this year.

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cybersecurity

As Federal agencies increasingly look to capitalize on the rich data they are collecting, they need to ensure their workforce is up to the challenge. However, many agencies are finding that their current workforce lacks the needed skills.  The Office of Management and Budget estimates that approximately 400,000 Federal employees will need to be reskilled by Fiscal Year 2021 – accounting for nearly 20 percent of the government’s current workforce. To help get the workforce they need in place, agencies are looking for ways to effectively retrain and reskill their workforce to enable an agency-wide digital transformation.

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Health and Human Services HHS

Any good healthcare provider will tell you that early diagnosis of a problem can lead to better outcomes down the road – and IT leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proved the enduring truth of that adage in the agency’s quick adjustment to a telework footing as the coronavirus pandemic emerged earlier this year.

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is delaying the implementation timeline for certain provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act in order to offer more flexibility for healthcare providers dealing with COVID-19, according to a notice set to be published in the Federal Register today.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reimburses states for most Medicaid costs and is supposed to oversee how states use funds, but its IT systems have had problems with ensuring proper oversight, and CMS no longer supports efforts to reduce duplication by state systems, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said.

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Health and Human Services HHS

Back in August, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) consolidated 11 different contract opportunities under an Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) vehicle into a single contract with telecommunications giant, Verizon.

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Health and Human Services HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services has appointed Perryn Ashmore acting CIO, following the departure of former CIO Jose Arrieta on August 28.

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Federal IT operations time and again have proved to be the resilient lifeline to vital citizen services during the COVID-19 pandemic. As government and society map the path to recovery, MeriTalk is chronicling the untold stories and lessons of how government IT has innovated on the fly to meet the demands of the crisis and anchor more resilient services going forward. In the latest installment of CIO Crossroads, we turn to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) five months into the fight.

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CDC

Reps. Scott Peters, D-Calif., Lucy McBath, D-Ga., Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, D-Pa., introduced legislation August 21 to streamline COVID-19 data collection and management through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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In a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Democrat House Representatives are asking for a review of the Trump administration’s recent order to have hospital data on coronavirus be reported to a private contractor through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rather than through the CDC.

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Health and Human Services HHS

Jose Arrieta is resigning his positons as CIO and interim chief data officer (CDO) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an agency spokesperson has confirmed to MeriTalk.

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social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking software to help members of NIH communications offices to monitor, distribute, and analyze social media mentions of the agency.

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