For health tech post, HHS reportedly brings in former congressman

John Fleming (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

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John Fleming, the physician and Republican former congressman from Louisiana, was recently named the deputy assistant secretary for health technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Times-Picayune newspaper.

In his new role, Fleming said he hopes to increase the efficiency of transferring information to electronic filing systems as a way to improve physician productivity and increase competition among tech companies, the New Orleans newspaper reported.

An HHS spokeswoman declined to confirm Fleming’s new role to FedScoop on Thursday.

The Republican also hopes to offer pay incentives for physicians who replace older or paper filing methods with newer technology, The Times-Picayune added.

Fleming, 65, served in Congress from 2009-17, where he served as co-chairman of both the GOP Doctors Caucus and the Freedom Caucus. He joins the Trump administration after an unsuccessful run for a Senate seat in 2016.

In his time in Congress, Fleming vehemently opposed the Affordable Care Act and sponsored a bill that would have repealed Obamacare. His reported role as health technology deputy assistant secretary comes just before a vote will be held on a GOP health care bill that would repeal Obama’s signature health care law.

His leap to the department comes after former Georgia Republican Representative Tom Price, a political ally of Fleming, was confirmed as secretary of HHS. Fleming spoke with Price, a physician himself, shortly the latter’s appointment to the new administration, according to the New Orleans newspaper.

Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office said it will begin seeking nominations for the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee, which will submit an annual report to HHS on progress made toward health IT providing electronic access and use of medical information.

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Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Government Accountability Office (GAO), John Fleming
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