5 recent HHS updates

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HHS disclosed the top eight ransomware threat actors for hospitals and the number of hospitals that have been struck between July 1 and Sept. 30. 

Four more updates:

1. A September HHS Office of Inspector General report found 20 insurers received about half of a $9.2 billion pool of suspicious Medicare payments over a year, but a new statement from the office says the largest portion of those funds went to UnitedHealth Group. 

2. The White House on Oct. 20 detailed its plan for vaccinating children ages 5-11 against COVID-19, so that the vaccines can be quickly distributed and made equitably available upon FDA authorization and a CDC recommendation. Both agencies have OK'd the vaccinations. 

3. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Oct. 18 renewed a public health emergency declaration over the COVID-19 pandemic for the seventh time. The renewal means the emergency declaration will remain in effect for at least another 90 days. 

4. HHS is investing $100 million in federal relief funding for state loan repayment programs that support, recruit and retain primary care clinicians in underserved communities. HHS announced the American Rescue Plan funding availability Oct. 14.

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