Follow Us

Tag Archive: Health and Human Services

Contraceptives remain most controversial health care provision

by

Contraceptives

Three years after Congress approved President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA), contraceptive care remains its most controversial provision, drawing not only more comments than any other regulatory proposal on any subject government-wide, according to an analysis of federal regulations on Sunlight's Docket Wrench.

More than 147,000 people and organizations have made their voices heard over the debate, most of them opposing the provision that requires that federal agencies have interpreted to mean that women have access to preventive services--including contraception--at no cost. The Catholic Church has led the charge, urging parishioners to write with messages such as ...

Continue reading
Share This:

Can we rate heart surgeries like blenders?

by

The Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, released a set of ratings yesterday for something rather more important than appliances: heart bypass surgery. Using data submitted to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the Consumers Union has graded various heart surgery groups using a three-star scale, similar to the way it rates radios, cameras and washing machines. It's a set of valuable public data that could serve as a model for expanding the Department of Health and Human Services' open government sites like Data.medicare.gov and the Community Health Data Initiative.

The heart surgery ratings are based on ...

Continue reading
Share This:

OGD: FDA to launch product recall database

by

When salmonella outbreaks were discovered last year in peanut butter and pistachios, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action by posting information about affected products on its web page, creating a widget where consumers could do look-ups, and providing a downloadable database of the information--all of which proved tremendously popular. Starting this fall, the public will have access to a similar database containing details about all food, drug, and medical device recalls that occurred throughout the year, according to agency officials.

This database, which will be available to download in xml format, as well as via a ...

Continue reading
Share This:

OGD: A state-by-state look at Medicare payments

by

Click on the picture for a larger version.

Over the last few years, hospitals in a few states have consistently received more money than others from Medicare in so-called "outlier payments" for inpatient services. These additional payments are handed out when a hospital takes on an unusually expensive case.

This takeaway comes from a quick review of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)' "Dashboard," a new online repository of spending data.

While the Dashboard is still in its beta version, and currently only has inpatient data (no home health or nursing home information, for example), a few points ...

Continue reading
Share This:

OGD: Freeing health care data

by

We're still tracking government's performance under the Open Government Directive, and we're also asking for specific information to be released. Here's the data we'd like to see on food and drug safety, which we posted over at the Department of Health and Human Services "open" Web page. The agency set up this commenting system as part of President Barack Obama's open government directive. Please take a moment to visit and vote for our suggestions. (Unfortunately the HHS comment format made our paragraphs run together and slightly truncated our comment. This is fixed below.) We ...

Continue reading
Share This:

CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Today 59063

Charity Navigator