GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed. GAO’s priority recommendations are those that we believe warrant priority attention. We sent letters to the heads of key departments and agencies, urging them to continue focusing on these issues. Below you can search only priority recommendations, or search all recommendations.

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As of April 18, 2018, there are 5,184 open recommendations, of which 465 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.

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Subject Term: "Medical information systems"

2 publications with a total of 2 priority recommendations
Director: Valerie C. Melvin
Phone: (202) 512-6304

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To ensure progress is made toward the implementation of any IT enhancements needed to establish electronic public health situational awareness network capabilities mandated by PAHPRA, the Secretary of HHS should direct the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to conduct all IT management and oversight processes related to the establishment of the network in accordance with Enterprise Performance Life Cycle Framework guidance, under the leadership of the HHS CIO.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In March 2018, HHS officials stated that they considered the recommendation to be open, but did not indicate whether or not they concurred with the recommendation. In their response, they stated that representatives from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Office of the Chief Information Officer met on September 15, 2017 to discuss broad issues and a strategy for developing a situational awareness network. According to HHS, topics such as resources, available funding, outreach, and incorporating data from external partners were discussed. However, HHS did not provide a plan of action for implementing the recommendation. Until steps are taken to implement our recommendation, HHS may continue to lack the necessary progress needed in order to establish an electronic public health situational awareness network capability mandated by PAHPRA.
Director: Daniel Bertoni
Phone: (202) 512-7215

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To improve the ability of the agency to detect and prevent potential physician-assisted fraud, and to help ensure new initiatives that use analytics to identify potential fraud schemes are successful, SSA should develop an implementation plan that identifies both short- and long-term actions, including: (1) timeframes for implementation; (2) resources and staffing needs; (3) data requirements, e.g., the collection of unique medical provider information; (4) how technology improvement will be integrated into existing technology improvements such as the Disability Case Processing System and National Vendor File; and (5) how different initiatives will interact and support each other.

Agency: Social Security Administration
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: Since fiscal year 2015, SSA has taken several steps that will help the agency to combat fraud, waste, and abuse. However, plans to date do not specifically address actions to combat potential physician-assisted fraud. SSA established the Office of Anti-Fraud Programs to provide centralized oversight and accountability for the agency's initiatives, which, in consultation with the Office of the Inspector General and other SSA components, will lead the development of SSA's anti-fraud initiatives and activities. This includes efforts to mitigate fraud through data analytics that utilize SSA's existing data systems. SSA developed a strategic plan for fiscal years 2016-2018 to guide its anti-fraud efforts that includes the use of data analytics, but this plan did not directly deal with physician-assisted fraud. In January 2018, SSA officials reported they completed an initial fraud risk assessment of SSA's disability program, which was awaiting approval by the acting commissioner. Once the strategy is approved, SSA plans to conduct a fraud risk assessment on its major lines of business on a recurring basis. To fully implement this recommendation, SSA will need to develop an implementation plan for anti-fraud efforts that addresses how it will employ data analytics to detect potential fraud involving physicians.