10 Feb, 2017

Introducing the new HHS of the US – Tom Price

 -Tom Price - NBC

The shift to a new presidential administration raised a lot of questions, one being what a Trump presidency would mean for health policy. With the news today, the future is looking a little clearer.

In the early hours of this morning, Tom Price was confirmed as the new Health and Human Services Secretary. Another contentious pick from President Trump, Tom Price was confirmed by a strictly in-party line of 52 to 4 despite another democratic boycott.

Tom Price’s seven-year congress history, started back in 2004 when he was first elected to serve Georgia 6th district. Prior to this, he had served as Minority Whip for the Georgia State Senate. Since then, he has served on multiple committees including serving as Chair of the House Committee on the Budget.

Price is only the third physician to ever receive a nomination for the role and at first, was endorsed by major industry groups including the American Medical Association, who has since faced a backlash from members. Like many other nominees, Price has no experience of running a large agency.The role of HHS includes the management of 11 divisions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health. However, the Republicans feel he is uniquely positioned to oversee the overhaul of Obama’s health care reforms. Price has already introduced legislation to the House, with his proposal.

Price is not only leading the repeal efforts, he now oversees policies that could impact the health of the nation. CNN put together a great article on his views of 5 major health issues facing the industry today. Here is a summary:

  1. Abortion – anti-abortion and against funding of Planned Parenthood.
  2. Cancer – pro-Biden’s moonshot in practice, but will review the amount of funding.
  3. Mental Health – reform needed for better diagnosis of at-risk individuals.
  4. Guns – pro.
  5. Stem cell research – adamantly against the use of embryonic cells in research.

What is still unclear is the impact this new appointment will have on digital health. As of yet, he has not yet ventured too much opinion. However, he has not been overtly anti-digital, as he has been about many other issues.

Find out about the future of digital health care at Digital Healthcare Transformation Assembly, in April in Dallas. Find out more here >>

Digital Healthcare Transformation

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