Category Archives: Government

What we know about the nation’s newest health IT czar

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

Donald Rucker

On Friday, Politico broke the story that Donald W. Rucker, M.D., has been named the new national coordinator for health information technology. Rucker is the first head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the Trump administration.

His appointment carried no official announcement and did not require Senate confirmation. As of Monday afternoon, the ONC website did not have him listed under their leadership bios page. Continue reading

Proposed cuts to senior program funding spark outrage

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Timothy Valentine via Flickr

By now, most of you are probably aware of the controversial remarks made by Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, about the administration’s proposed 2017 budget, which would adversely affect home- and community-based services for the elderly.

Among them is Meals on Wheels, which provides daily nutritious food to homebound older adults, the disabled and veterans. Continue reading

Looking at the conservative ‘heritage’ of some core ACA features

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

The New York Times Magazine recently looked at the prolonged fight against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) waged by Heritage Action for America, the political arm of conservative think tank Heritage Foundation, which has helped populate the Trump administration both in and out of health care.

Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price are Heritage supporters and have brought in like-minded associates.

But, as we have seen, the task of repealing the ACA is hard, in part because the legislation has changed the health care landscape in so many ways. Continue reading

Lawsuit may indicate change in government’s pursuit of insurance fraud

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Urban Bohemian via Flickr

Photo: Urban Bohemian via Flickr

A 2011 lawsuit unsealed last week reveals the inner workings of the nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group. In the lawsuit, lawyers for the plaintiff allege that UnitedHealth evaluated certain employees on how well they raised risk adjustment scores.

The lawyers contend the practice was part of a scheme to increase payments from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by submitting false statements about the level of illness among Medicare Advantage patients. Continue reading

Academic experts offer views on HHS nominee Price

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org.

Joyce Frieden

Joyce Frieden

We posted a long item about Tom Price’s biography, and an overview of some of the issues that may come up during his confirmation as HHS secretary.

Joyce Frieden, news editor of MedPage Today, did a series of interviews with top academic health policy experts about what Price brings to the table, and we asked her to sum up the high points for you here, including some aspects that directly affect physicians and payment reform. Continue reading