As a child growing up in Florida, Shirley Miller knew all too well the pain that can accompany sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that affects nearly 100,000 people in the United States and millions worldwide. Like many others with the disease, her pain crises were frequent and intense and sometimes required hospitalization.
That was in the 1960s when treatment options for sickle cell disease were mostly limited to blood transfusions and powerful opioid painkillers. While they provided temporary relief, Miller lived in fear of the next attack—and worse, death.
“I was fortunate to have a wonderful, loving mom who took good care of me and helped me through the tough times,” said Miller. “She did a lot.”
As Miller grew older and more independent, the frequency of her pain crises decreased, even though pain remained a constant challenge. She attributes this to learning as much as she could about her disease and managing it aggressively. Now age 64, Miller sees her doctors regularly, gets more sleep, and takes her medications as prescribed.
These days, she has a lot more choices.
“I haven’t been hospitalized due to a sickle cell crisis in 15 years,” Miller said. “I have more energy now and I no longer have a lot of pain.”
One of the medicines she now takes regularly is hydroxyurea. In 1998, it became the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for the treatment of sickle cell disease in adults. When taken daily, the drug reduces the likelihood of pain events, reduces the need for blood transfusions, and improves quality of life. For the past 20 years, it has become the standard of care for the management of pain in sickle cell disease.
But the company around it is growing. In just the past three years, the FDA has approved three new drugs for the treatment of sickle cell disease—L-glutamine oral powder; crizanlizumab; and voxelotor—that can help reduce a range of symptoms, including pain crises, and help prevent organ damage.
“I’m very excited about the new drugs that are finally coming to the marketplace,” said Miller, who recently began taking voxelotor.
But not everyone is able to manage their pain as well as Miller. For many patients with sickle cell disease, taking medications as prescribed remains a challenge. Some fear possible side effects and don’t take them at all, while others simply forget.
On this front, researchers are beginning to make inroads. Scientists funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, are currently developing a smartphone app that contains visual prompts, text messages, and videos that not only remind patients with sickle cell disease to take their meds, but also answer questions that might allay fears. Recently published findings suggest that the app will help boost compliance, particularly among young people.
Other researchers, including those at NHLBI, are making progress toward a cure for the disease in the form of genetic therapies, including gene therapy using stem cell transplantation and gene editing. But while the search goes on, many patients dealing with the most severe pain are still landing in emergency rooms, some hoping for relief from opioids, which have proven useful but are getting harder to obtain. Studies have shown that some of these patients are often unfairly stereotyped as drug abusers.
For all these challenges, Miller said, the tide appears to be turning in favor of people with sickle cell disease. The past few years have seen the emergence of a national effort to raise awareness about the condition and bring new treatments to the market that can extend—and save—lives. Miller now passes her message of hope to others in her job as a patient advocate at a comprehensive sickle cell center in Charlotte, NC, where she helps coach other sickle cell disease patients on how to better manage their condition.
“My advice is to find a good doctor or sickle cell specialist, and then do what they tell you to do,” Miller said.
While there’s no single best treatment for everyone, patients should find out what works best for their own care, know what triggers your pain crisis, and avoid risky behaviors, she said. This is particularly important in the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, as people with sickle cell disease are at increased risk for severe complications from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON SICKLE CELL DISEASE:
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:
Sickle Cell Disease: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sickle-cell-disease
Today’s Faces of Sickle Cell Disease:https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/todays-faces-sickle-cell-disease
Office of Minority Health Resource Center:
About Sickle Cell Disease: https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/sicklecell/index.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Preventing Pain “Episode” or “Crisis”: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/treatments.html
Sickle Cell Disease: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/index.html
- Toyota Motor Company to Pay $180 Million in Settlement for Decade-Long Noncompliance with Clean Air Act Reporting RequirementsBy Sam NewsJanuary 14, 2021The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the United States has filed and simultaneously settled a civil lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor North America Inc., Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. (Toyota) for systematic, longstanding violations of Clean Air Act emission-related defect reporting requirements, which require manufacturers to report potential defects and recalls affecting vehicle components designed to control emissions.[Read More…]
- Facial Recognition Technology: Privacy and Accuracy Issues Related to Commercial UsesBy Sam NewsAugust 11, 2020Market research and other data suggest that the market for facial recognition technology has increased in the number and types of businesses that use it since GAO's 2015 report on the topic (GAO-15-621 ). For example, newer functions of the technology identified by stakeholders and literature included authorizing payments and tracking and monitoring attendance of students, employees, or those attending events. Functions of Facial Recognition Technology Accuracy. Although the accuracy of facial recognition technology has increased dramatically in recent years, differences in performance exist for certain demographic groups. National Institute of Standards and Technology tests found that facial recognition technology generally performs better on lighter-skin men and worse on darker-skin women, and does not perform as well on children and elderly adults. These differences could result in more frequent misidentification for certain demographics, such as misidentifying a shopper as a shoplifter when comparing the individual's image against a data set of known shoplifters. There is no consensus on what causes performance differences, including physical factors (such as lighting) or factors related to the creation or operation of the technology. However, stakeholders and literature identified various methods that could help mitigate differences in performance among demographic groups. Privacy. Stakeholders and literature identified concerns related to privacy, such as the inability of individuals to remain anonymous in public or the use of the technology without individuals' consent. Facial recognition technology may collect or store facial images, posing varying levels of risk. Some federal and state laws and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation impose requirements on U.S. companies related to facial recognition technology. However, as we reported in 2015, there is no comprehensive federal privacy law governing the collection, use, and sale of personal information by private-sector companies. Some stakeholders, including privacy and industry groups, have developed voluntary frameworks that seek to address privacy concerns. Most of these frameworks were consistent with internationally recognized principles for protecting the privacy and security of personal information. However, U.S. companies are not required to follow these voluntary frameworks. Facial recognition technology can verify or identify an individual from a facial image. Advocacy groups and others have raised privacy concerns related to private companies' use of the technology, as well as concerns that higher error rates among some demographic groups could lead to disparate treatment. GAO was asked to review the commercial use of facial recognition technology and related accuracy and privacy issues. Among other issues, this report examines how companies use the technology, its accuracy and how accuracy differs across demographic groups, and how privacy issues are addressed in laws and industry practices. GAO analyzed laws; reviewed literature and company documentation; interviewed federal agency officials; and interviewed representatives from companies, industry groups, and privacy groups. GAO also reviewed selected privacy frameworks, chosen based on expert recommendations and research. GAO reiterates its previous suggestion from a 2013 report ( GAO-13-663 ) that Congress consider strengthening the consumer privacy framework to reflect changes in technology and the marketplace. For more information, contact Alicia Puente Cackley at (202) 512-8678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend at Press Conference in MilwaukeeBy Sam NewsSeptember 22, 2020Charges Announced [Read More…]
- Antitrust Division Supports Modernizing Merger Filing Exemptions For Certain InvestmentsBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2020On Monday, September 21, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim concurred in the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Federal Register publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the premerger notification rules (the Rules) that implement the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR).[Read More…]
- District Court Enters Permanent Injunction Shutting Down Technical-Support Fraud SchemeBy Sam NewsDecember 29, 2020A federal court entered an order of permanent injunction against an individual and five companies in a case against a large-scale technical-support fraud scheme alleged to have defrauded hundreds of elderly and vulnerable U.S. victims, the Department of Justice announced today.[Read More…]
- ANZAC DayBy Sam NewsApril 22, 2021
- Sao Tome and Principe National DayBy Sam NewsJuly 12, 2021
- Indian Health Service: Actions Needed to Improve Oversight of Provider Misconduct and Substandard PerformanceBy Sam NewsDecember 11, 2020The Indian Health Service's (IHS) policies related to provider misconduct and substandard performance outline several key aspects of oversight, such as protecting children against sexual abuse by providers, ethical and professional conduct, and processes for managing an alleged case of misconduct. Although the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or IHS headquarters have established most of these policies, area offices that are responsible for overseeing facility operations and facilities, such as hospitals, may develop and issue their own policies as long as they are consistent with headquarters' policies, according to officials. Although some oversight activities are performed at IHS headquarters, IHS has delegated primary responsibility for oversight of provider misconduct and substandard performance to the area offices. However, GAO found some inconsistencies in oversight activities across IHS areas and facilities. For example, Although all nine area offices require that new supervisors attend mandatory supervisory training, most area offices provided additional trainings related to provider misconduct and substandard performance. The content of these additional trainings varied across area offices. For example, three area offices offered training on conducting investigations of alleged misconduct, while other area offices did not. Officials from IHS headquarters told GAO they do not systematically review trainings developed by the areas to ensure they are consistent with policy or IHS-wide training. Facility governing boards—made up of IHS area office officials, including the Area Director, and facility officials, such as the Chief Executive Officer—are responsible for overseeing each facility's quality of and access to care. They generally review information related to provider misconduct and substandard performance. However, there is no standard format used by governing boards to document their review, making it difficult to determine the extent this oversight is consistently conducted. In some cases, there was no documentation by governing boards of a discussion about provider misconduct or substandard performance. For example, none of the seven governing board meeting minutes provided from one area office documented their discussion of patient complaints. In other cases, there was detailed documentation of the governing board's review. Additionally, governing boards did not always clearly document how or why an oversight decision, such as whether to grant privileges to a provider, had been made based on their review of available information. These inconsistencies in IHS's oversight activities could limit the agency's efforts to oversee provider misconduct and substandard performance. For example, by not reviewing trainings developed by area offices, IHS headquarters may also be unable to identify gaps in staff knowledge or best practices that could be applied across area offices. Addressing these inconsistencies would better position the agency to effectively protect patients from abuse and harm resulting from provider misconduct or substandard performance. IHS provides care to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) through a system of federally and tribally operated facilities. Recent cases of alleged and confirmed misconduct and substandard performance by IHS employees have raised questions about protecting the AI/AN population from abuse and harm. For example, in February 2020, a former IHS pediatrician was sentenced to five consecutive lifetime terms for multiple sex offenses against children. Several studies have been initiated or completed in response, and IHS has reported efforts to enhance safe and quality care for its patients. GAO was asked to review IHS oversight of misconduct and substandard performance. This report (1) describes IHS policies related to provider misconduct and substandard performance and (2) assesses IHS oversight of provider misconduct and substandard performance. GAO reviewed policies and documents, including minutes from 80 governing board meetings from January 2018 to December 2019. GAO also interviewed IHS officials from headquarters, all nine area offices with two or more federally operated facilities, and two federally operated facilities. GAO is making three recommendations, including that IHS should establish a process to review area office trainings as well as establish a standard approach for documenting governing board review of information. HHS concurred with these recommendations. For more information, contact Jessica Farb at (202) 512-7114 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- New Jersey Man Indicted for Promoting Tax Fraud SchemeBy Sam NewsOctober 23, 2020A Pemberton, New Jersey, man appeared in court yesterday on a federal grand jury indictment charging him with conspiring to defraud the United States, assisting in the filing of false tax returns, obstructing the internal revenue laws, and failing to file a tax return, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. The Sept. 2, 2020 indictment was unsealed following the court appearance.[Read More…]
- Facial Recognition Technology: Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Should Better Assess Privacy and Other RisksBy Sam NewsJune 29, 2021What GAO Found GAO surveyed 42 federal agencies that employ law enforcement officers about their use of facial recognition technology. Twenty reported owning systems with facial recognition technology or using systems owned by other entities, such as other federal, state, local, and non-government entities (see figure). Ownership and Use of Facial Recognition Technology Reported by Federal Agencies that Employ Law Enforcement Officers Note: For more details, see figure 2 in GAO-21-518. Agencies reported using the technology to support several activities (e.g., criminal investigations) and in response to COVID-19 (e.g., verify an individual's identity remotely). Six agencies reported using the technology on images of the unrest, riots, or protests following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Three agencies reported using it on images of the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Agencies said the searches used images of suspected criminal activity. All fourteen agencies that reported using the technology to support criminal investigations also reported using systems owned by non-federal entities. However, only one has awareness of what non-federal systems are used by employees. By having a mechanism to track what non-federal systems are used by employees and assessing related risks (e.g., privacy and accuracy-related risks), agencies can better mitigate risks to themselves and the public. Why GAO Did This Study Federal agencies that employ law enforcement officers can use facial recognition technology to assist criminal investigations, among other activities. For example, the technology can help identify an unknown individual in a photo or video surveillance. GAO was asked to review federal law enforcement use of facial recognition technology. This report examines the 1) ownership and use of facial recognition technology by federal agencies that employ law enforcement officers, 2) types of activities these agencies use the technology to support, and 3) the extent that these agencies track employee use of facial recognition technology owned by non-federal entities. GAO administered a survey questionnaire to 42 federal agencies that employ law enforcement officers regarding their use of the technology. GAO also reviewed documents (e.g., system descriptions) and interviewed officials from selected agencies (e.g., agencies that owned facial recognition technology). This is a public version of a sensitive report that GAO issued in April 2021. Information that agencies deemed sensitive has been omitted.[Read More…]
- Commemoration of the Massacre of Mahshahr and Designation of Iranian Officials Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human RightsBy Sam NewsNovember 18, 2020
- Eastern Kentucky Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Distributing Controlled SubstancesBy Sam NewsDecember 10, 2020A Kentucky doctor and his former office manager were sentenced to 60 and 32 months respectively in prison Wednesday for their roles in unlawfully distributing controlled substances during a time when the defendants did not have a legitimate medical practice.[Read More…]
- Husband Sentenced to 188 Months in Prison for Human Trafficking Convictions Related to Forced Labor of Foreign NationalsBy Sam NewsOctober 22, 2020The Justice Department today announced that former Stockton, California resident Satish Kartan, 46, was sentenced today to188 months in prison for forced labor violations. In addition, U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. ordered $15,657 be paid in restitution to three victims, in part to cover their back wages and other losses.[Read More…]
- Oman Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Do not travel to Oman [Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Rosemary Barton of Canadian Broadcasting CorporationBy Sam NewsFebruary 28, 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Salvadoran President BukeleBy Sam NewsMay 2, 2021
- Seven Charged in Connection with a COVID-Relief Fraud Scheme Involving more than 80 Fraudulent Loan Applications Worth Approximately $16 MillionBy Sam NewsNovember 17, 2020Seven individuals across two states were charged in an indictment unsealed today for their alleged participation in a scheme to obtain approximately $16 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.[Read More…]
- Appointment of Ambassador Jean Manes to serve as Chargé d’affaires to the Republic of El SalvadorBy Sam NewsMay 28, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
- Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers Delivers Remarks at Cartel Working Group Plenary: Big Data and Cartelization, 2020 International Competition Network Annual ConferenceBy Sam NewsSeptember 17, 2020Virtual Event Good [Read More…]
- 5G Wireless: Capabilities and Challenges for an Evolving NetworkBy Sam NewsNovember 24, 2020Fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks promise to provide significantly greater speeds and higher capacity to accommodate more devices. In addition, 5G networks are expected to be more flexible, reliable, and secure than existing cellular networks. The figure compares 4G and 5G performance goals along three of several performance measures. Note: Megabits per second (Mbps) is a measure of the rate at which data is transmitted, milliseconds (ms) is a measure of time equal to one thousandth of a second, and square kilometer (km²) is a measure of area. As with previous generations of mobile wireless technology, the full performance of 5G will be achieved gradually as networks evolve over the next decade. Deployment of 5G network technologies in the U.S. began in late 2018, and these initial 5G networks focus on enhancing mobile broadband. These deployments are dependent on the existing 4G core network and, in many areas, produced only modest performance improvements. To reach the full potential of 5G, new technologies will need to be developed. International bodies that have been involved in defining 5G network specifications will need to develop additional 5G specifications and companies will need to develop, test, and deploy these technologies. GAO identified the following challenges that can hinder the performance or usage of 5G technologies in the U.S. GAO developed six policy options in response to these challenges, including the status quo. They are presented with associated opportunities and considerations in the following table. The policy options are directed toward the challenges detailed in this report: spectrum sharing, cybersecurity, privacy, and concern over possible health effects of 5G technology. Policy options to address challenges to the performance or usage of U.S. 5G wireless networks Policy Option Opportunities Considerations Spectrum-sharing technologies (report p. 47) Policymakers could support research and development of spectrum sharing technologies. Could allow for more efficient use of the limited spectrum available for 5G and future generations of wireless networks. It may be possible to leverage existing 5G testbeds for testing the spectrum sharing technologies developed through applied research. Research and development is costly, must be coordinated and administered, and its potential benefits are uncertain. Identifying a funding source, setting up the funding mechanism, or determining which existing funding streams to reallocate will require detailed analysis. Coordinated cybersecurity monitoring (report p. 48) Policymakers could support nationwide, coordinated cybersecurity monitoring of 5G networks. A coordinated monitoring program would help ensure the entire wireless ecosystem stays knowledgeable about evolving threats, in close to real time; identify cybersecurity risks; and allow stakeholders to act rapidly in response to emerging threats or actual network attacks. Carriers may not be comfortable reporting incidents or vulnerabilities, and determinations would need to be made about what information is disclosed and how the information will be used and reported. Cybersecurity requirements (report p. 49) Policymakers could adopt cybersecurity requirements for 5G networks. Taking these steps could produce a more secure network. Without a baseline set of security requirements the implementation of network security practices is likely to be piecemeal and inconsistent. Using existing protocols or best practices may decrease the time and cost of developing and implementing requirements. Adopting network security requirements would be challenging, in part because defining and implementing the requirements would have to be done on an application-specific basis rather than as a one-size-fits-all approach. Designing a system to certify network components would be costly and would require a centralized entity, be it industry-led or government-led. Privacy practices (report p. 50) Policymakers could adopt uniform practices for 5G user data. Development and adoption of uniform privacy practices would benefit from existing privacy practices that have been implemented by states, other countries, or that have been developed by federal agencies or other organizations. Privacy practices come with costs, and policymakers would need to balance the need for privacy with the direct and indirect costs of implementing privacy requirements. Imposing requirements can be burdensome, especially for smaller entities. High-band research (report p. 51) Policymakers could promote R&D for high-band technology. Could result in improved statistical modeling of antenna characteristics and more accurately representing propagation characteristics. Could result in improved understanding of any possible health effects from long-term radio frequency exposure to high-band emissions. Research and development is costly and must be coordinated and administered, and its potential benefits are uncertain. Policymakers will need to identify a funding source or determine which existing funding streams to reallocate. Status quo (report p. 52) Some challenges described in this report may be addressed through current efforts. Some challenges described in this report may remain unresolved, be exacerbated, or take longer to resolve than with intervention. GAO was asked to assess the technologies associated with 5G and their implications. This report discusses (1) how the performance goals and expected uses are to be realized in U.S. 5G wireless networks, (2) the challenges that could affect the performance or usage of 5G wireless networks in the U.S., and (3) policy options to address these challenges. To address these objectives, GAO interviewed government officials, industry representatives, and researchers about the performance and usage of 5G wireless networks. This included officials from seven federal agencies; the four largest U.S. wireless carriers; an industry trade organization; two standards bodies; two policy organizations; nine other companies; four university research programs; the World Health Organization; the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements; and the chairman of the Defense Science Board's 5G task force. GAO reviewed technical studies, industry white papers, and policy papers identified through a literature review. GAO discussed the challenges to the performance or usage of 5G in the U.S. during its interviews and convened a one-and-a-half day meeting of 17 experts from academia, industry, and consumer groups with assistance from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. GAO received technical comments on a draft of this report from six federal agencies and nine participants at its expert meeting, which it incorporated as appropriate. For more information, contact Hai Tran at (202) 512-6888, firstname.lastname@example.org or Vijay A. D’Souza at (202) 512-6240, email@example.com.[Read More…]
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo with Hrvoje Kresic of N1 TVBy Sam NewsOctober 2, 2020
- The United States Restricts Visas of 100 Nicaraguans Affiliated with Ortega-Murillo RegimeBy Sam NewsJuly 12, 2021
- This Week in Iran PolicyBy Sam NewsDecember 19, 2020
- Justice Department Reaches Major Olmstead Settlement Agreement with North DakotaBy Sam NewsDecember 14, 2020The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement with the State of North Dakota under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The agreement resolves complaints alleging that North Dakota unnecessarily institutionalizes individuals with disabilities in nursing facilities, instead of providing them the services they need to live in the community.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Acts To Shut Down Fraudulent Websites Exploiting The Covid-19 PandemicBy Sam NewsAugust 12, 2020The United States Department of Justice announced today that it has obtained a Temporary Restraining Order in federal court to combat fraud related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The enforcement action, filed in Tampa, Florida, is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts prioritizing the detection, investigation, and prosecution of illegal conduct related to the pandemic. The action was brought based on an investigation conducted by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in coordination with the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security.[Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Guatemalan Foreign Minister BroloBy Sam NewsJune 4, 2021
- Fulbright Program Partners with National Archives on New Heritage Science FellowshipBy Sam NewsJanuary 20, 2021
- Owner of Michigan Payroll Tax Services Firm Charged With Employment Tax FraudBy Sam NewsAugust 19, 2020A federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, returned an indictment today charging a Farwell, Michigan, businessman with failing to pay payroll taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and failing to file his own returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan.[Read More…]
- American Darknet Vendor and Costa Rican Pharmacist Charged with Narcotics and Money Laundering ViolationsBy Sam NewsAugust 4, 2020A dual U.S.-Costa Rican citizen and a Costa Rican citizen, both of whom reside in Costa Rica, were indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for their illegal sales of opioids on the darknet.[Read More…]
- U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to Mark Official U.S. Reentry into Paris AgreementBy Sam NewsFebruary 17, 2021
- Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Health and Human ServicesBy Sam NewsMay 26, 2021What GAO Found In April 2020, GAO identified 55 priority recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Since then, HHS has implemented eight of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to improve the quality of care in the Indian Health Service's federally-operated facilities and improve the accuracy and completeness of Medicaid data to expedite their use for program oversight. In addition to the eight priority recommendations HHS implemented, four recommendations are no longer open priority recommendations, primarily because they became a lower priority as a result of recent regulatory or programmatic changes. In May 2021, GAO identified 18 additional priority recommendations for HHS—including some recommendations related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic—bringing the total number of priority recommendations to 61. These recommendations involve the following areas: COVID-19 response and other public health emergency preparedness; Public health and human services program oversight; Food and Drug Administration oversight; National efforts to prevent, respond to, and recover from drug misuse; Improper payments in Medicaid and Medicare; Medicaid program; Medicare program; Health information technology and cybersecurity; and Health insurance premium tax credit payment integrity. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for sustained attention on improving HHS's operations. Implementing our priority recommendations could help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of key federal health care programs and funding, including those relevant to the nation's ongoing response to COVID-19. Why GAO Did This Study Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations. For more information, contact A. Nicole Clowers at (202) 512-7114 or ClowersA@gao.gov.[Read More…]
- Former Natural Gas Trader Pleads Guilty for Role in Commodities Insider Trading SchemeBy Sam NewsFebruary 1, 2021A former natural gas trader pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit commodities fraud and wire fraud for his role in an insider trading scheme.[Read More…]
- Seven MS-13 Gang Members Indicted in Violent Crime and Drug Distribution ConspiracyBy Sam NewsNovember 19, 2020A federal grand jury in Nashville, Tennessee, returned a 16-count superseding indictment Wednesday, charging seven MS-13 gang members with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and serious firearm-related offenses, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.[Read More…]
- FY 2021 National Census of Victim Service ProvidersBy Sam NewsMay 2, 2021(Solicitation)
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is seeking applications for funding for the National Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP). This program furthers efforts to expand the statistical infrastructure around victim services, including the availability and use of services to support victims of crime or abuse.
Deadline: Grants.gov Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on June 14, 2021; JustGrants Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. eastern time on June 28, 2021 [Read More…]
- Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Japanese Foreign Minister MotegiBy Sam NewsDecember 17, 2020
- Local man sentenced for smuggling 35 people in hot trailerBy Sam NewsMay 13, 2021A 52-year-old Laredo [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Omani Foreign Minister Al-Busaidi By Sam NewsFebruary 24, 2021
- Operation Legend: Case of the DayBy Sam NewsOctober 7, 2020An Indiana man has been charged with a federal firearm offense for allegedly illegally selling dozens of handguns and assault rifles in the Chicago area.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Files Enforcement Action Against Bain& Company As Part of Its Investigation Into Visa Inc’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid IncBy Sam NewsOctober 27, 2020Today, the Department of Justice filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to enforce Bain & Company’s compliance with the department’s Civil Investigative Demand (CID).[Read More…]
- Norwegian National DayBy Sam NewsMay 17, 2021
- Malta Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
- Wisconsin-Based Nonprofit To Pay $1.9 Million To Settle Allegations Of False Claims And Kickbacks On Federal Contracts For Blind WorkersBy Sam NewsSeptember 30, 2020Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired Inc. (IBI) has agreed to pay the United States $1,938,684.09 to resolve allegations that IBI violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act in connection with certain federal contracts set aside to employ blind workers, the Justice Department announced today.[Read More…]
- Two Companies and Nine Individuals Indicted for Alleged Large-Scale Visa Fraud Employment SchemeBy Sam NewsApril 20, 2021An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia has been unsealed charging two businesses and nine of their officers and managers located across the country for their roles in an alleged conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and commit various fraud and criminal immigration offenses for profit.[Read More…]
- ‘Shallow Lightning’ and ‘Mushballs’ Reveal Ammonia to NASA’s Juno ScientistsBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020The spacecraft may have [Read More…]
- Florida Return Preparers Charged with Defrauding the IRSBy Sam NewsMarch 19, 2021A federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida returned an indictment on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, charging two tax preparers with conspiring to defraud the United States and preparing false tax returns. The defendants made their initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt today.[Read More…]
- Lesotho National DayBy Sam NewsOctober 4, 2020
- Two Bizarre Brown Dwarfs Found With Citizen Scientists’ HelpBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Data from NASA’s [Read More…]
- Drug trafficker from Canada sent to prisonBy Sam NewsJuly 12, 2021A 51-year-old woman has [Read More…]
- Appointment of Ambassador Arnold Chacon to serve as Chargé d’Affaires to CanadaBy Sam NewsMay 30, 2021
- Dominican Republic Independence DayBy Sam NewsFebruary 27, 2021
- Justice Department Reaches Landmark Agreement with Massachusetts Department of Children and Family to Address Discrimination Against Parents with DisabilitiesBy Sam NewsNovember 19, 2020The Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that they reached a landmark agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).[Read More…]
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo At the Three Seas Virtual Summit and Web ForumBy Sam NewsOctober 19, 2020
- Ice Melt Linked to Accelerated Regional Freshwater DepletionBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Continuous monitoring of [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy BorrellBy Sam NewsMay 17, 2021
- Bipartisan Competitive Strategy: The “New Normal”?By Sam NewsOctober 15, 2020Dr. Christopher Ashley [Read More…]
- Colorado Man Charged with Hate Crime After Unprovoked Stabbing of Black ManBy Sam NewsSeptember 17, 2020A Colorado man has been charged with a hate crime after stabbing a Black man from Ontario, Oregon while the man was sitting in a fast food restaurant, announced Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams of the District of Oregon.[Read More…]
- After 40 Years of Progress, It Is Time to End the HIV EpidemicBy Sam NewsJune 7, 2021As we mark the 40th [Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC Andrea Mitchell ReportsBy Sam NewsFebruary 1, 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister al-SabahBy Sam NewsFebruary 25, 2021
- Tanzania Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to [Read More…]