Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell this week announced an anti-fraud task force led by the Justice and Health and Human Services Departments executed the largest takedown of health care fraud in U.S. history, charging 301 individuals in 36 Federal districts for health care schemes equaling $900 million.

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New investments in pathogen reduction devices may help reduce the risk of transmitting Zika via blood transfusions. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will help advance the development of two such reduction technologies.

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Doctors and researchers believe they can understand and eventually cure cancer through data sets, with the launch of the Genomic Data Commons, a system that promotes sharing of genomic and clinical data among researchers.

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Consumer expectations and needs demand that health data be shared and made easily accessible, according to Karen DeSalvo, the national coordinator for Health IT at HHS. Consumers are expecting that we share their data and HIPAA allows it,” DeSalvo said.

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Many Americans’ electronically stored medical data is likely unsecured and inaccurate, according to panelists at the Health Datapalooza. “There are real-world consequences to medical data sharing,” said privacy and medical attorney Neal Eggeson.

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Analysis of big data is having a noticeable impact on reducing the opioid addiction epidemic in the U.S., according to panelists at the Health Datapalooza. “Having good surveillance has allowed us to stay ahead of what’s coming into our communities,” said Dana Quesinberry of Kentucky. […]

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology will be offering two awards with a total of $1.5 million in funding opportunities for projects that advance common standards designed to improve health information for both consumers and providers.

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The Federal government is looking for ways to put the hammer down on health care data blockers and data hackers. As voluntary compliance isn’t working, Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, told a congressional hearing that she has called for funding to “put some teeth around” going after data blockers. […]

HealthCare.gov had a rocky rollout, but future Federal tech projects could learn a lot from its trials and successes, according to Erin Bliss at the HHS Office of Inspector General. She testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee alongside Seto Bagdoyan, the director of forensic audits at GAO.

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The Department of Health and Human Services wants to develop consumer and health care provider apps that are easier to understand. So it is launching a three-part initiative that includes software developer challenges with big-money rewards.

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To help strengthen consumers’ knowledge of health IT products, U.S. Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology proposed a new rule: the “ONC Health IT Certification Program: Enhanced Oversight and Accountability” proposal.

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The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has begun its search for a new Chief Information Officer, two months after HHS lost its previous CIO, Frank Baitman, who worked to establish HHS within the 2014 FITARA guidelines.

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A MeriTalk survey finds that Federal agencies are in need of an efficiency jump-start, and 78 percent of Feds believe DevOps will help agencies innovate faster responses and services. Legacy systems are slowing agencies down, and new apps just add to the inertia.

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The 34-page Protected Health Information (PHI) Data Breach Report analyzed 392 million security incidents and 1,931 data breaches, including breaches at the Department of Health and Human Services and a “significant number of records” from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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