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HHS Secretary Price Statement on CBO Report

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 17:30

"...Americans are paying more for fewer healthcare choices because of Obamacare"

Following the release of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report analyzing the American Health Care Act, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D. released the following statement:

“The CBO was wrong when they analyzed Obamacare’s effect on cost and coverage, and they are wrong again. In reality, Americans are paying more for fewer healthcare choices because of Obamacare, and that’s why the Trump Administration is committed to reforming healthcare. In a new analysis released just last night, HHS reported that premiums in the individual market have more than doubled since many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates were implemented.”

HHS released a new analysis yesterday that shows premiums have doubled for individual health insurance plans since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates took effect. The analysis is based on data compiled by the previous Administration, and the report was produced by the Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).

According to the report:

  • Average individual market premiums more than doubled from $2,784 per year in 2013 to $5,712 on Healthcare.gov in 2017 – an increase of $2,928 or 105%.
  • All 39 states using Healthcare.gov experienced an increase in individual market premiums from 2013 – 2017.
  • 62% of states using Healthcare.gov had 2017 premiums double what was measured in 2013.
  • Three states – Alaska, Alabama, and Oklahoma – saw premiums triple from 2013-2017.

 For more detailed information and report methodology, click here.




Readout of Secretary Price’s Third and Fourth Day in Geneva for World Health Assembly

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 16:00

On Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. completed his participation in the 70th World Health Assembly by leading the U.S. delegation in meetings with public health officials from Singapore, the WHO Africa Regional Office, Finland, Norway, the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, and Brazil. These discussions wrapped up three days of meetings with many member state delegations to advance cooperation and collaboration on global health security, and other areas of important health collaboration.

Secretary Price spoke at an event at the Geneva Press Club focused on priorities for the next WHO Director-General. The Secretary shared his vision for the WHO as a place that can attract the most talented individuals from around the world with state-of-the-art expertise to advance the WHO’s mission of enhancing the public health – including defeating diseases like polio – as well as addressing potential and actual health emergencies. Secretary Price encouraged his fellow health officials to embrace reforms to create a more transparent and accountable culture at the WHO.

On Tuesday afternoon, the WHA held the first ever election of a new Director-General that was open to all member states and elected Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia. Secretary Price congratulated the incoming Director-General, saying:

“The United States looks forward to working with the new Director-General and our public health partners at the WHO to reform and strengthen the organization and enhance the ability of all nations to protect the health of their people. Global health security begins at home. WHO must play an integral part in preventing, detecting, responding to, and recovering from local health emergencies so that we reduce the potential of them becoming global health emergencies.”

Prior to leaving Geneva, Secretary Price met with Dr. Tedros – emphasizing the commitment the United States has to the mission of the WHO, to reforming the organization, and to strengthening global health security.




HHS REPORT: Average Health Insurance Premiums Doubled Since 2013

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 19:15

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new analysis today that shows premiums have doubled for individual health insurance plans since 2013, the year before many of Obamacare’s regulations and mandates took effect. The analysis is based on data compiled by the previous Administration, and the report was produced by the Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).

“With data that shows average premiums doubling nationwide and Americans paying nearly $3,000 more for health insurance per year, this report is a sobering reminder of why reforming our healthcare system remains a top priority of the Trump Administration. The status quo is unsustainable.” – HHS National Spokesperson, Alleigh Marré

According to the report:

  • Average individual market premiums more than doubled from $2,784 per year in 2013 to $5,712 on Healthcare.gov in 2017 – an increase of $2,928 or 105%.
  • All 39 states using Healthcare.gov experienced an increase in individual market premiums from 2013 – 2017.
  • 62% of states using Healthcare.gov had 2017 premiums double what was measured in 2013.
  • Three states – Alaska, Alabama, and Oklahoma – saw premiums triple from 2013-2017.

Please see the linked report for more detailed information and methodology.




Price: “President’s budget answers the call to fix what’s wrong in Washington"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 14:00

President Donald J. Trump’s America First budget outlines the Administration’s priorities within the federal government and addresses critical needs across the country. The budget makes the necessary investments to support the mission of the Health and Human Services Department to enhance the health and well-being of Americans. HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D., who is currently representing the United States at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, released the following statement about the Department’s budget:

“Within the framework of President Trump’s budget, the Department of Health and Human Services is focused on making strategic investments to protect the health and well-being of all Americans. Our budget focuses resources on direct health services and patient-centered care. It also ensures that important programs like Medicaid serve our most vulnerable citizens – the people such programs are intended to help.

“We are releasing today a budget that outlines a clear path toward fiscal responsibility by creating efficiencies that both improve services and save money. We are taking action to address our collapsing healthcare system and provide relief from the burdensome rules and mandates of Obamacare.

“Remember, Americans living in one-third of our nation’s counties now have only one option and no choices for health coverage. Premiums continue to rise. More money isn’t the answer; replacing a broken system is.

“The President’s budget answers the call to fix what’s wrong in Washington. We look forward to working with Congress to implement these important first steps toward patient-centered healthcare and creating a system that is sustainable, innovative, flexible and responsive.”




Secretary Price Congratulates New WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 13:30

Geneva, Switzerland – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., issued the following statement today congratulating Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his election to serve as the next Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO):

“On behalf of President Trump and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we congratulate Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on being elected the next Director-General of the World Health Organization. The United States looks forward to working with the new Director-General and our public health partners at the WHO to reform and strengthen the organization and enhance the ability of all nations to protect the health of their people. Global health security begins at home. WHO must play an integral part in preventing, detecting, responding to, and recovering from local health emergencies so that we reduce the potential of them becoming global health emergencies.

“Under the leadership of the new Director-General, WHO member states must commit to further enhancing the transparency and accountability of this important organization to ensure its success, and implement critical reforms to make WHO the organization we need it to be. Such reforms will increase the capabilities of the WHO to serve its mission and grow the trust of member states in those capabilities. The United States is committed to helping advance reforms and cultivating greater global health security. We look forward to working with Dr. Tedros."




Careless handling of HIV information jeopardizes patient’s privacy, costs entity $387k

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 12:15

St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center Inc. (St. Luke’s) has paid the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $387,200 to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule and agreed to implement a comprehensive corrective action plan. St. Luke’s operates the Institute for Advanced Medicine, formerly Spencer Cox Center for Health (the Spencer Cox Center), which provides comprehensive health services to persons living with HIV or AIDS and other chronic diseases. St. Luke’s is 1 of 7 hospitals that comprise the Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS).

In September 2014, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received a complaint alleging that a staff member from the Spencer Cox Center impermissibly disclosed the complainant’s protected health information (PHI) to the complainant’s employer. This impermissible disclosure included sensitive information concerning HIV status, medical care, sexually transmitted diseases, medications, sexual orientation, mental health diagnosis, and physical abuse. OCR’s subsequent investigation revealed that staff at the Spencer Cox Center impermissibly faxed the patient’s PHI to his employer rather than sending it to the requested personal post office box. Additionally, OCR discovered that the Spencer Cox Center was responsible for a related breach of sensitive information that occurred nine months prior to the aforementioned incident but had not addressed the vulnerabilities in their compliance program to prevent impermissible disclosures.

“Individuals cannot trust in a health care system that does not appropriately safeguard their most sensitive PHI,” said Roger Severino, OCR director. “Covered entities and business associates have the responsibility under HIPAA to both identify and actually implement these safeguards. In exercising its enforcement authority, OCR takes into consideration aggravating factors such as the nature and extent of the harm caused by failure to comply with HIPAA requirements.”

The Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan may be found on the OCR website at http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/compliance-enforcement/agreements/stlukes/index.html

To learn more about non-discrimination and health information privacy laws, including civil rights and privacy rights in health care and human service settings, and to find information on filing a complaint, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/index.html

Follow OCR on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HHSOCR




Readout of Secretary Price’s Second Day in Geneva for World Health Assembly

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 16:00

On Monday, May 22, Secretary Price participated in the opening activities of the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA). The Secretary participated in several events throughout the day – including one on antimicrobial resistance, a top concern for public health officials; an event sponsored by the U.S. Delegation on international health regulations and how nations can and should assess their health security capacities; an event highlighting the critical role of public-private partnerships in addressing global health security; and an event on strengthening access to essential surgical and anesthesia care, particularly in underserved parts of the world.

Secretary Price held individual meetings with public health officials from India, Uganda, Canada, Italy, and Sweden – providing opportunities for one-on-one discussions about existing and the potential for future collaboration on global health security and to reconfirm the United States’ commitment to such efforts.

As the head of the U.S. Delegation to the WHA, Secretary Price delivered an address to the Assembly that highlighted public health challenges facing the world and the role of the United States in helping to solve them:

"We want to emphasize today just how committed the United States is to a cooperative, transparent and effective international response to outbreaks of infectious disease. These threats do not respect borders between countries, and can spread rapidly to endanger people anywhere around the globe. We expect the next Director-General and WHO Health Emergencies Program to prioritize threats to global health, including influenza. We will work to enable all countries around the world to prevent, detect, respond to, mitigate, and control these outbreaks.”

Click here to read Secretary Price’s full remarks.




Secretary Price Delivers Address at 70th World Health Assembly

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 10:15

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. delivered the following speech today at the 70th World Health Assembly. As Prepared Madame President, Director-General Chan, fellow Ministers, distinguished leaders, it is a true honor to make my first visit to the World Health Assembly. As just the third physician to hold the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services of the United States, being here today is a remarkable privilege. I especially want to thank the President of the World Health Assembly and Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan. Madame Director-General, congratulations on the completion of your tenure, and thank you for your leadership over the past ten years. You have pursued essential reforms that will make WHO more transparent, more effective, and more accountable. We also look forward to the election tomorrow of the next Director-General from the three highly qualified candidates we have. Whoever is the next Director-General, he or she must bring a renewed commitment to transforming WHO into the organization necessary to accomplish the mission. We look forward to working with him or her on an agenda for ongoing improvements. That means recognizing WHO’s excellence and expertise, but also taking a clear-eyed view of what needs to change for it to fulfill that most important mission: ensuring a rapid and focused response to potential global health crises. Reform, with this focus, must be this organization’s Number One priority. Some of the accomplishments in which WHO has played a leading role, such as the extinction of smallpox, would have been unthinkable when my grandfather graduated medical school in 1908. We look forward to realizing more such victories together, including the eradication of polio. Infectious diseases are of course not WHO’s only job—it has a role in addressing non-communicable diseases and threats, as well. But as we saw during the Ebola crisis, preparation for the possibility of cross-border infectious threats must be our top concern. We want to emphasize today just how committed the United States is to a cooperative, transparent and effective international response to outbreaks of infectious disease. These threats do not respect borders between countries, and can spread rapidly to endanger people anywhere around the globe. We expect the next Director-General and WHO Health Emergencies Program to prioritize threats to global health, including influenza. We will work to enable all countries around the world to prevent, detect, respond to, mitigate, and control these outbreaks. For that reason, we must express the United States’ disappointment that, contrary to the custom of the past eight years, an invitation was not extended to Taiwan to observe this year’s Assembly. The United States remains committed that Taiwan should not be excluded from WHO. Furthermore, the United States affirms its support for the Global Health Security Agenda. The United States is dedicated to building capacity to comply with the International Health Regulations, and to find and stop disease outbreaks around the world, whether they are naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate in nature. We are also committed to realizing multi-sectoral partnerships with other nations, international organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders, including the private sector. WHO cannot succeed in its mission without incorporating the perspectives of extra-governmental entities. The United States also appreciates the growing attention within WHO on the topic of access to medicines. Access to safe, effective medicines is central to improving global public health, and our government stands ready to engage on ways to expand access to medicines while protecting the incentives that spark new innovation. This work requires diligence, focus, and commitment from all of us in this room, and I want to state clearl[...]



Readout of Secretary Price’s First Day in Geneva for 70th World Health Assembly

Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 16:45

On Sunday, May 21, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. arrived in Geneva, Switzerland to lead the U.S. delegation to the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), which begins Monday, May 22. The WHA is a gathering of health officials representing members of the World Health Organization (WHO). At this year’s meeting, WHO members will elect a new Director-General of the WHO for a five-year term. During the WHA, Secretary Price and the U.S. delegation will also focus on proposals for actions to strengthen global health security and address anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

During his first day in Geneva, Secretary Price met with the U.S. Delegation Private Sector Advisor, Dr. David Barash. Dr. Barash serves as the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Global Health for the GE Foundation. Their meeting highlights the critical importance of public-private partnerships in advancing healthcare innovation and access to care.

Secretary Price met with health officials from Taiwan to discuss mutual efforts in support of global health security – the first of many bilateral meetings to come throughout the Secretary’s participation in the WHA. During a visit to the WHO headquarters, Secretary Price toured the Strategic Health Operations Center. The center monitors disease outbreaks and responses from around the world to ensure coordination among nations in addressing threats to the public health.

The Secretary concluded his meetings for the day with a visit to the U.S. Mission and a conversation with members of the U.S. delegation on hand for the WHA. Secretary Price thanked the delegation for their commitment to the work they do to ensure the U.S. plays a positive, leading role in global health security.




Readout of Secretary Price’s Attendance at the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting

Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 13:30

On Friday, May 19th and Saturday, May 20th, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. attended the first-ever G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in Berlin, Germany. Secretary Price joined health officials from around the world in discussions on how to harness knowledge, capabilities, and expertise to reinforce and strengthen our global health security. Topics included preparations to combat influenza and viruses with pandemic potential, anti-microbial resistance (AMR), the work of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the upcoming meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA).

Over two days, Secretary Price participated in a health emergency simulation exercise with his G20 counterparts. The event provided an opportunity for a dynamic discussion among member nations focused on collaboration to prevent, detect, and respond to a potential infectious disease pandemic. The Secretary spoke with many individual health ministers and held several bilateral meetings with healthcare officials from Indonesia, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.

Following the opening ceremony with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Secretary Price issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the United States and President Trump, I am honored to represent our nation at the first-ever G20 Health Ministers Meeting. President Trump and his Administration appreciate that a sustained, focused commitment to global health security is vital to protecting Americans, strengthening partnerships with other nations, and supporting political and economic stability around the world.

“We extend our gratitude to Germany for hosting this meeting. The productive discussions taking place are of vital importance to the continued collaboration by G20 members to prepare for and respond to potential and actual public health emergencies around the world.”

For more information, click here