President Barack Obama signed into law an appropriations bill to fund HHS and other agencies in fiscal 2010, providing additional funds to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse in healthcare and to cut down on healthcare-associated infections.
Funding measure ups ante in HHS' fraud fight
The legislation, totaling $163.5 billion, includes more than $1.1 billion, a 50% increase from 2009, to reduce improper payments, fraud and abuse. The funds in part will be used to expand HHS' healthcare fraud- and abuse-control program.
Public health also got a boost—$6.8 billion or $128 million above 2009 figures—to help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collect core data on the health status of the population and other projects such as HIV testing, global immunization, and cancer prevention and control.
The bill allotted $190 million, $28 million more than what was appropriated in 2009, to continue HHS' campaign to reduce healthcare-associated infections that patients acquire while receiving medical or surgical treatment. This includes $136 million to invest in the CDC's emerging infectious diseases portfolio to help expand surveillance, public health research and prevention activities.
In addition, the CMS will be receiving $347 million, $54 million above 2009 levels, to enhance state inspections in nursing homes and other facilities where healthcare-associated infections are rising.
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