Department of Health and Human Services

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More than one-quarter of serious cases of nursing home abuse are not reported to the police, according to an alert released Monday morning by the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Georgia Republican Tom Price, who is President-elect Trump's choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services, is suddenly drowning in questions over the investments he has made while serving in the House of Representatives.

Georgia Rep. Tom Price has been a fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act and a leading advocate of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law.

Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, is President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services. He is currently chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee.

Price, an orthopedic surgeon for nearly 20 years before coming to Congress, has represented the northern Atlanta suburbs in the House of Representatives since 2005.

HHS Targets Young Adults In 2017 Obamacare Enrollment Plan

Jun 22, 2016

Amid early signs that insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act might rise significantly next year, administration officials Tuesday previewed their plans to increase enrollment in the marketplaces, particularly among young adults who have been slow to sign up.

Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31.

HHS Announces Plans To Curtail Consumers’ Use Of Short-Term Insurance Policies

Jun 9, 2016

The Obama administration on Wednesday moved to sharply limit short-term health insurance plans, which a growing number of consumers have been buying even though they offer less coverage than what the Affordable Care Act decreed all people should have.

Medical bills can be incredibly confusing and difficult to read.

But do you have a better idea?

No, seriously, do you?

WLRN

Patients looking for more transparency in health care costs won’t usually find it on the bill from their medical provider.

Miami Medicare Fugitive Caught In Nicaragua

Apr 4, 2016

A fugitive from Miami who has been on the run for almost 20 years is back in federal custody after he was arrested in Nicaragua.

Feds: Florida, Others Need Better Child Care Inspections

Mar 29, 2016
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Federal inspectors found that Florida is not adequately enforcing its rules at child care facilities, discovering violations that exposed children to potential electrocution, poisoning and other injuries, according to two federal reports released Friday to The Associated Press.

Three Changes Consumers Can Expect In Next Year’s Obamacare Coverage

Mar 15, 2016

Health insurance isn’t simple. Neither are government regulations. Put the two together and things can get confusing fast.

Barry Gutierrez/NPR

Technology companies, hospital systems and doctors' groups have agreed to take steps to make electronic health records easier for consumers to access and use, the Obama administration announced Monday.

About 1.4 million households that got financial help for health insurance under President Barack Obama's law failed to properly account for it on their tax returns last year, putting their subsidies at risk if they want to keep coverage.

Florida Marketplace Silver Plans Rise About 1%

Oct 27, 2015

Premiums will increase an average of 7.5 percent for the second-lowest-cost silver insurance plan to be offered next year in the 37 states, including Florida, where the federal government operates health marketplaces, according to an analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Lynn Hatter/WFSU / WFSU

A change in government procedures has led to a big jump in people losing coverage under the Obama health care law because of immigration and citizenship issues.

HHS: States Should Negotiate Lower ACA Rates

Jul 23, 2015

Some analysts who have looked at health insurers’ proposed premiums for next year predict major increases for policies sold on state and federal health exchanges. Others say it’s too soon to tell. One thing is clear: There’s a battle brewing behind the scenes to keep plans affordable for consumers.

  From contraception to colonoscopies, the Obama administration Monday closed a series of insurance loopholes on coverage of preventive care.

The department of Health and Human Services said insurers must cover at least one birth control option under each of 18 methods approved by the FDA — without copays.

Also, insurers can't charge patients for anesthesia services in connection with colonoscopies to screen for cancer risk.

HealthCare.gov

Nearly 8 million people could lose up to $24 billion a year in health insurance subsidies in a Supreme Court case threatening President Barack Obama's law, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The estimates by The Associated Press show what's at stake in the case. The biggest potential loser would be Florida, with nearly 1.5 million residents getting an average of $294 a month. That works to $440 million a month currently, or up to $5.2 billion a year for the state. The subsidies are delivered in the form of tax credits.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says the Obama administration won't back down on cutting off over $1 billion in aid to Florida hospitals if the state doesn't expand its Medicaid program.

Speaking to reporters, the Democratic senator said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told him her position on the aid is firm.

The aid pays hospitals for providing care to the indigent. It's supposed to end because Obama's health care plan provides indigent care through the Medicaid program.

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Some foster children are not getting their required medical screenings even though the visits are paid for by Medicaid, federal health investigators warn in a study released Monday.

The Health and Human Services' inspector general study looked at a random sample of roughly 400 foster children from California, Texas, New York and Illinois and found nearly 30 percent did not receive one or more of their required health screenings between 2011 and 2012.

Latino ACA Enrollment Still Lags

Feb 9, 2015
Mary Agnes Carey / Kaiser Health News

Norma and Rodolfo Santaolalla have always worked but have never had health insurance.  When the Arlington, Va., couple tried to apply online for coverage under the health care law, it was just too confusing.

“I didn’t understand about the deductibles and how to choose a plan. It’s difficult. It’s the first time we’ve done that,” said Norma, 46, who cleans houses for a living.  Rodolfo, 47, is a handyman. “That’s why we came here, to ask them to help us.”

HHS Quickens Pace to Quality-Based Medicare Pay

Jan 27, 2015
Kaiser Health News

The Obama administration Monday announced a goal of accelerating changes to Medicare so that within four years, half of the program’s traditional spending will go to doctors, hospitals and other providers that coordinate their patient care, stressing quality and frugality.

Many of the 7 million consumers who got insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law will see their premiums rise next year unless they switch to another plan, independent analysts said as the government released details Friday.

The Health and Human Services department released a massive computer file of 2015 premiums one day ahead of the start of open enrollment. Those numbers will take time to fully analyze.

The number of uninsured patients admitted to hospitals has dropped markedly this year, reducing charity care and bad debt cases, particularly in states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under the new federal health care law, a government report released Wednesday concluded.

The report from the Department of Health and Human Services said hospitals in states that have taken advantage of new Medicaid eligibility levels have seen uninsured admissions fall by about 30 percent. Florida is not one of those states.

FL Marketplace Adds 4 Insurers

Sep 24, 2014

The number of health insurance companies offering plans in the marketplaces this fall will increase by 25 percent, giving consumers more choices for coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced Tuesday.

When the marketplace enrollment reopens in November, 77 new insurers will be offering coverage in the 44 states for which HHS had data, which includes the 36 states that use the federal marketplace and eight states that run their own, the department reported.

HealthCare.gov

The government’s own watchdogs tried to hack into HealthCare.gov earlier this year and found what they termed a critical vulnerability — but also came away with respect for some of the health insurance site’s security features.

Those are among the conclusions of a report being released Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, who focuses on health care fraud.

University of Miami president Donna Shalala says she’s stepping down next year from the job she’s held since 2001.



Shalala came to the university after leading the federal health agency for eight years and serving as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 She helped build the national stature of the school's medical school and hospital and increased research budgets.

Frank Nero, former head of the Beacon Council, says even big businessmen were impressed by Shalala

.

If you got health coverage through President Barack Obama's law this year, you'll need a new form from your insurance exchange before you can file your tax return next spring.

Some tax professionals are worried that federal and state insurance marketplaces won't be able to get those forms out in time, creating the risk of delayed tax refunds for millions of consumers.

The same federal agency that had trouble launching HealthCare.gov last fall is facing the heaviest lift.

The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of people who have unresolved issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law. Florida has the most cases at 93,800.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that letters are going out to about 310,000 people whose citizenship or immigration details don't match what the government has on file. 

These consumers need to send in their documentation by Sept. 5. Otherwise their coverage will end Sept. 30.

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