29 Apr Sebelius approved as HHS Secretary
The U.S. Senate has approved the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The 65-31 vote means all members of President Obama’s cabinet now are in place.
Sebelius has much on her plate as HHS, still without permanent appointees in many senior positions, battles the spread of Swine Flu and advances the administration’s health reform proposals.
She also will be a major decision maker as the administration implements the health information technology provisions of the economic stimulus law. The department is developing rules on new HIPAA privacy and security requirements, distribution of the $2 billion in “jump start” funds, and implementation of the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs, including defining “meaningful use” of electronic health records systems. Sebelius also will appoint three members of the HIT Standards Committee and up to 30 members of the HIT Standards Committee.
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