Healthcare Roundup—Ex-HHS Secretary Price joins incoming Georgia governor's transition team

Tom Price speaking
Former HHS Secretary Tom Price has a new job with incoming Georgia governor Brian Kemp's transition team. (Mark Taylor/CC BY 2.0)

Ex-HHS Secretary Price joins new Georgia governor’s transition team

Tom Price, M.D., who served as the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services Secretary for much of 2017, has taken on a role on incoming Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s transition team.

Price resigned from the secretary position in September 2017 amid controversy over his use of private planes for travel. Kemp said Price would play a role in planning policy.

“Obviously he’s got a lot of great experience with healthcare,” Kemp said. “No one is more experienced with legislative matters than Tom Price ... he’s a valuable member of our team.” (The Hill)

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CMS launches first nursing home toolkit funding by civil monetary penalties

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released the first toolkit to improve nursing home care that it created with funding from civil money penalties.

The Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP) is a three-year program that aims to use funds the agency brings in on penalties levied against nursing homes to launch programs to improve quality and safety.

The toolkit released Tuesday focuses on evaluating staff competency. The series is under the overarching theme of building a culture focused on quality and patient-centered care. (Announcement)

Preventive Services Task Force recommends HIV prevention pills for first time

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending doctors prescribe pills to patients they deem at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.

The task force hasn’t previously recommended the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent the spread of the disease. The group also reissued a recommendation that physicians test all patients between the ages of 15 and 65 for HIV, both to monitor the spread but also reduce the stigma associated with the condition.

“The evidence is clear: When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV,” Seth Landefeld, M.D., a member of the task force, said. (NBC News)

Florida nursing homes ask for more time to implement generator requirements

Nearly half of Florida’s nursing homes are asking state officials to extend the time they have to meet new backup generator regulations put in place following Hurricane Irma.

Justin Senior, the secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, said the state would not approve waivers for nursing facilities that are unable to show that they’ve made progress on the rules.

About 27% of Florida facilities have made the changes so far. (Health News Florida)

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