September 23, 2021
Health IT
  • HHS announced it will distribute $73 million to strengthen the U.S. public health IT effort and increase representation of underrepresented communities within the public health IT workforce. The goal is to providing training in public health informatics and technology to more than 4,000 health workers over the next four years. Recipients of the funds include historically black colleges and universities, as well as colleges and universities enrolling high numbers of students who are Hispanic, Asian-American, or Pacific Islanders. (Press release here)
  • The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report exploring how states are evaluating the use of telehealth to treat behavioral health in Medicaid. Only two of the 37 states the OIG spoke to had evaluated the effectiveness of telehealth on access to services for Medicaid enrollees and only one had evaluated the impact of telehealth on cost. Twenty-three of the states said fraud is a major concern surrounding telehealth, yet only 11 performed monitoring and other actions to combat any fraud. The OIG said that states need to step up their efforts to evaluate and examine the impact of telehealth on their Medicaid programs, especially as flexibilities that emerged during the pandemic could be made permanent. (Report here; Article here)