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6:31 am, July 31, 2014

HHS News

Freeze the Footprint leading to less square feet per employee

Federal workers to see as much as 50 percent less cubicle or office space as part of how agencies are reducing office space costs. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) pressed GSA and others on their preparation to more efficiently deal with 100 million square feet of leased space that is scheduled to expire in the next five years.

Thursday - 07/31/2014, 04:28am EDT

Sean Kaufman, President, Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions

Members of Congress are calling for tighter regulations of government labs handling dangerous microbes. The call comes after employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mishandled materials containing flu and anthrax samples. Sean Kaufman is a former CDC scientist, now president of Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions. He recently testified to Congress about the safety violations at the CDC. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the safety lapses.

Friday - 07/18/2014, 11:00am EDT
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AFCEA-Bethesda, Children's Inn end partnership for annual charitable gala

The Children's Inn at NIH will not be involved with AFCEA-Bethesda's annual fundraising gala in 2015 after a change in the number of charitable recipients involved in the event.

Thursday - 07/10/2014, 03:17pm EDT

Janet Woodcock, Food and Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to harness the data in electronic health records to help develop better medicine. In a pilot program, it regularly surveys 18 large health care organizations. Right now, it's mining records and claims data from more than 150 million patients nationwide. Janet Woodcock is director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluations and Research. She joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to explain how the pilot, known as Mini-Sentinel, works.

Thursday - 07/10/2014, 06:20am EDT
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Russ Hereford, Deputy Regional Inspector General, Health and Human Services

Year two of the Affordable Care Act is underway with open enrollment starting Oct. 1. But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is already working to fix a big problem with the federal health insurance marketplace. The Health and Human Services inspector general found problems in verifying the data people used to enroll, producing inconsistencies that slowed down enrollment. Russ Hereford is deputy regional inspector general for HHS. He explains to Tom Temin on the Federal Drive how extensive the problem is.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 11:20am EDT
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Dr. William Gahl, Program Director, National Institutes of Health

Each year, sick people are told they have diseases so rare, they can't be diagnosed. Investigators at the National Institutes of Health looked at hundreds of cold cases. They've created a new network to tackle these mysterious diseases. The Undiagnosed Diseases Network will recruit doctors to conduct research that planners hope will lead to better understanding of these puzzling symptoms and find treatments. Six universities around the country have signed on. NIH Program Director Dr. William Gahl joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the new effort.

Monday - 07/07/2014, 10:06am EDT
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Report: Health law sign-ups dogged by data flaws

IG Report: Obama administration struggles to resolve 'inconsistencies' in health sign-ups

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 10:50am EDT

Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Radio

The Health and Human Services Department tech staff is saying, there's got to be a better way when it comes to technology projects. It's not just the sour taste of HealthCare.gov, but also the long history of failed IT programs. Federal News Radio's executive editor, Jason Miller, spoke with Tom Temin on the Federal Drive. Read Jason's related article.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 09:44am EDT
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HHS Buyers Club opens door to innovative approaches to IT projects

The Department of Health and Human Services isn't following in the footsteps of the Oscar winning movie, Dallas Buyers Club. Rather, HHS is trying to help contracting officers recognize agile and iterative approaches to buying and managing technology programs.

Thursday - 07/03/2014, 08:39am EDT

Elise Viebeck, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

The new Health and Human Services Secretary is revamping management of HealthCare.gov. Sylvia Burwell has appointed a new operations manager to closely supervise the website, and she plans to fill more management positions. The goal is to make sure this year's open season doesn't mirror the fiasco of when HealthCare.gov first opened for business last year. Elise Viebeck covers health care issues for The Hill Newspaper. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the new moves.

Tuesday - 06/24/2014, 10:25am EDT
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OPM reminds feds of mental health importance

OPM's Katherine Archuleta and HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration release a memo providing guidance to agency leaders about how to identify individuals in mental health distress. The guidance also offers resources to federal employees looking for help.

Monday - 06/23/2014, 12:48pm EDT

Burwell appoints new manager to revamp HealthCare.gov

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell appointed a new high-level operations manager to closely supervise the online portal to coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law. She also announced that she's hiring a CEO and a technology leader to specifically handle all aspects of the health law's coverage expansion.

Saturday - 06/21/2014, 03:46am EDT

Marcia Crosse, Government Accountability Office

The Service to America Medals honor federal employees who go above and beyond their job descriptions to serve the public. Federal News Radio will be speaking to the finalists. As the director of healthcare at the Government Accountability Office, Marcia Crosse has drawn Congress' attention to needs at the Food and Drug Administration. Her boss says she's been at the forefront of her field: identifying needed improvements in the oversight of medical products. In part because of her work, the FDA now has more tools to regulate drugs and medical devices from overseas. Crosse is a finalist in the citizen services category of the 2014 Sammies awards. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the data she analyzes. Read a Q&A with Marcia Crosse.

Monday - 06/16/2014, 10:46am EDT
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Dwayne Grant, Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

For the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at HHS, payment errors are 50 percent more likely to happen in cases of routine visits. At more than $32 billion, so-called E&M services represent about a third of payments under Medicare Part B. The Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General looked at data from 2010. It found that coding errors and lack of documentation led to $6.7 billion in improper E&M payments. Dwayne Grant, regional inspector general for HHS, discussed how this happened when he joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive.

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 09:01am EDT
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Senate confirms Obama's new health secretary

Burwell needs to tackle major HealthCare.gov fixes just months ahead of next sign-up season

Thursday - 06/05/2014, 03:20pm EDT

Taha Kass-Hout, Chief Health Informatics Officer, FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has launched openFDA. It's a new data initiative making for easier access to large public health datasets. OpenFDA is in line with the President's open data executive order and the Health and Human Service Department's Health Data Initiative. Taha Kass-Hout is chief health informatics officer at the FDA. He explains the main focus of the project to Tom and Emily on the Federal Drive.

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 06:57pm EDT
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John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

The problems at Veterans Affairs, and the unsuccessful rollout of healthcare.gov could be evidence of something systemic. Some call it a 'civil service crisis'. Whatever it is, it's claimed jobs at both the career and political appointee levels. John Palguta is the Vice President for Policy at the Partnership. He spoke with Tom and Emily on the Federal Drive.

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 06:46pm EDT
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Burwell gets committee approval for health post

Senate Finance Committee approves Burwell for health secretary, sends to full Senate

Sunday - 05/25/2014, 01:50pm EDT

Federal HR reforms demand an inside/out strategy

Several agency chief human capital officers say wholesale changes to the federal hiring, recruiting, retaining and firing processes are needed now more than ever. It's no longer just a matter of using the authorities available, they say.

Thursday - 05/22/2014, 04:12am EDT
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Whistleblower hotlines changing the way IGs respond to waste, fraud and abuse

Across the federal government, the officials who run hotline programs in agency inspector general offices say they're finding ways to cut their backlogs of incoming cases and get vital information into the hands of investigators more quickly. In part, it's because those officials are communicating with one another like never before.

Tuesday - 05/20/2014, 04:08am EDT
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