HHS names secretary for health technology

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that former Louisiana Rep. John Fleming is taking a new post as deputy assistant secretary for health technology.Fleming said as secretary for health technology he will work on issues and regulations tied to technology and the practice of medicine.

“It’s clear there’s a lot of work to do, and they’re anxious to get somebody in place and start activating this,” he told NOLA.com.

What’s not so clear is whether Fleming’s appointment offers any clues about the future of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT – an HHS unit that Donald Trump did not mention in his proposed budget.

“They may be reorganizing,” Fleming told Politico Tuesday morning.

The appointment also raises new questions about the state of existing regulations. For example, Fleming, like his new boss HHS Secretary Tom Price, has supported delaying Stage 3 of meaningful use. Fleming has also supported softening MACRA, especially when it comes to reporting requirements.Fleming, a former member of the Doctors Congress and the tea party-backed Freedom Caucus, recently lost an election for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats.