The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use a majority of practices for identifying prescription drug waste, fraud and abuse and plan to add three more practices, congressional investigators said. But the agency won't pursue a half dozen other known practices for several reasons.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will be leaving his post once a successor is nominated and confirmed, a Nov. 24 Defense Department news release says. Obama praised Hagel's service and noted he became the head of the DoD at a particularly difficult time. "When I asked Chuck to serve as secretary of defense, we were entering a significant period of transition," Obama said in the news release.
As part of the Veterans Affairs Department's effort to cut down on patient wait times at its medical facilities, the department has issued a request for proposal for a new medical appointment scheduling system. Officials are trying to replace a system that's been in place since 1985.
Americans rated the U.S. Postal Service as their favorite among13 major federal agencies – even with rate hikes, proposed plant closures, dire calls for reform from the agency, and consistent annual losses in the billions of dollars, a new Gallup poll says.
Support for bill that would overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department's suicide prevention strategy gained steam on both sides of the aisle in the Senate after the mother of a combat vet who committed suicide testified to the troubles with the current system. "Clay's story details the urgency needed in addressing this issue," Susan Selke, said at a Nov. 19 Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing. "Despite his proactive and open approach to seeking care to address his injuries, the VA system did not adequately address his needs. Even today, we continue to hear about both individual and systemic failures by the VA to provide adequate care and address the needs of veterans."
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Tuesday was named the new House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, set to take over from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in the new year, getting the assignment over three other, more senior members.
Veterans waiting more than 30 days for an appointment at a Veterans Affair medical center will be able to seek outside health care, the department announced in a Nov. 18 statement.
For much of her career in government service, Miriam Nisbet has been on the cutting edge of the intersection of digital technology and the Freedom of Information Act. But more than 35 years after she began government service in 1978, Nisbet will leave her post as the government's top FOIA ombudsman at the end of November to take a break and pursue a career in the private sector.
The Postal Service Board of Governors voted to appoint the first female postmaster general to replace Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, who will retire early next year. The Board of Governors announced Nov. 14 in an email statement that Megan Brennan, the current USPS chief operating officer, will begin her tenure as the new postmaster general in February 2015.
A postal workers union says planned Postal Service plant closures are going to slow down mail delivery and it plans to hold a demonstration at the last USPS Board of Governors meeting on the subject Friday. "The cuts would cause hardships for the public and small businesses, eliminate jobs and destroy the world's most efficient and affordable delivery network by driving away mail and revenue," says the American Postal Workers Union in a Nov. 12 statement.