Healthcare Roundup—White House reorganization proposal could result in big changes for HHS

Could Health and Human Services get a new name soon? It's possible as the Trump administration prepares to release a proposal that would reorganize multiple agencies. (Sarah Stierch/CC BY 4.0)

Trump reorganization plan could include HHS changes

The Trump administration is planning to release a new plan that would reorganize and consolidate multiple agencies and programs including the Health and Human Services Department—even calling for a name change for the agency.

Politico reported the plan will be released later this month by the White House Office of Management and Budget. They said the plan would target safety-net programs such as food stamps.

Exactly what changes might come for HHS are not clear, but it was reported the new name for the agency would emphasize programs that provide assistance to low-income people. (Politico article)

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VA commits funds to address intimate partner violence

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs committed $17 million to support the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program, it was announced Thursday.

The term "intimate partner violence" describes physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. Research has indicated veterans may be at greater risk than civilians to experience IPV due to the unique stressors of military life, officials said.

The program, which was launched in 2014, established coordinators at more than 115 VA facilities to offer assistance to veterans, their partners and VA staff. The increase in funding will allow the expansion of the program to all VA medical centers.  (Release)

NCI-designated cancer centers call for improved HPV screening

A group of 70 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers issued a joint statement Thursday calling for increased HPV vaccination and screening to eliminate HPV-related cancers. 

"An effective and safe vaccine is available that prevents the large majority of cancer-causing HPV infections. In addition, healthcare providers can use proven methods to screen for and treat cervical pre-cancers," the statement reads (PDF). "Unfortunately, HPV vaccination completion rates across the U.S. remain low."

According to the statement, nearly 80 million people in the U.S., or about 25% of Americans, are infected with HPV and more than 31,000 of these people will be diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer in the next year. Among adolescents, fewer than 50% of girls and 38% of boys completed the vaccine series in 2016. (Release)

Apple’s lays groundwork for 'ecosystem' of health records tools