The Centers for Disease Control has spearheaded a program available to other agencies that automatically updates website content, making it easier and more cost-effective to keep information current.

The content syndication tool eliminates the cumbersome and time-consuming practice of emailing updates and changing website content manually. Keep reading →

Medicare failed to follow some basic safeguards in switching its paper-based health record system to electronic health records, a key part of the current administration’s plan to save millions of dollars and provide better health care, the HHS Inspector General said in a report released Thursday.

In the report, the IG for Health and Human Services said Medicare did not put in place appropriate technology tools to make sure the information provided by hospitals and doctors about their EHR implementation was accurate. At stake were financial awards given to health providers if they adopted electronic records beginning in 2011. Keep reading →

For all the devastation it brought, Hurricane Sandy also showed how a cadre of Health and Human Services web sites have become a flexible and living conduit for crucial government information when public health and safety are at stake. Keep reading →

The Department of Labor has emerged as a leader in transforming crucial information buried in online PDF files or impenetrable government websites into new applications that widely distribute government data. Keep reading →

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a contest for developers to create software aimed at reducing medical errors in hospitals and outpatient settings.

HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is offering $70,000 in prizes for the Reporting Patient Safety Events Challenge. The first place winner will receive $50,000; second place $15,000 and third place $5,000. Entries are due by August 31, 2012. Additionally, ONC plans a webinar kickoff of the challenge with more details. Keep reading →

The Department of Health and Human Services is the latest federal agency to tap the creativity of the marketplace by running a contest to find the best products for their emergency preparedness apps.

HHS used a tool that is increasingly being relied upon by agencies to find the best mobile solutions, get the work done cheaply and make a device available to the public quickly. Keep reading →

This is one in a series of profiles on the 2012 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists. The awards, presented by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, recognize outstanding federal employees whose important, behind-the-scenes work is advancing the health, safety and well-being of Americans and are among the most prestigious honors given to civil servants. This profile features H. Allen Dobbs, Chief Medical Officer, National Disaster Medical System at the Department of Health and Human Services is a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, Career Achievement category.

By The Partnership for Public Service Keep reading →

Back in February, senators expressed dismay at a multi-million dollar anti-fraud computer system installed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS hoped to prevent fraudulent payments, reversing its standard mode of paying, discovering and chasing after money that wrongly went out the door.

In April, the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, or HEAT, from Health and Human Services, made announcements in Chicago. The Attorney General and the HHS secretary highlighted their high-tech war against CMS fraud, and announced a slew of procedural and legal changes. But most of it focused on stronger fraud penalties, prosecutions, and suspensions or debarments of Medicaid contractors. Nothing was said of the $77 million system. Keep reading →

Interest in preventing waste, fraud, and abuse runs high in the federal government these days. Yet fraudulent contractors and healthcare providers continue to get paid so financial functions within agencies are always looking for a better mousetrap. For instance, The Association of Government Accountants released a study this May of best practices for scanning large data sets using the latest data analytics technologies for identifying potential improper payments.

Health and Human Services and the Defense Department account for most of the federal government’s annual improper payment tab. The 2011 figure was down a little, to $115 billion, thanks to some concerted agency work and prodding by the Office of Management and Budget. Keep reading →

The past three weeks worth of news reports about GSA‘s lavish convention spending and indiscretions by Secret Service agents–and the inquisitions on Capitol Hill in response–could already fill a few hard drives.

So it always a bit baffling to see how little attention the media–and Congress–give federal agencies and government executives when they do get things right. Keep reading →

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