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New HHS Secretary Becerra urged to expand digital health access

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(Photo by Leigh Vogel-Pool/Getty Images) Health advocacy groups congratulated new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on his confirmation Thursday afternoon, urging him to use the position to advance digital health initiatives and continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Senate confirmed Becerra, who will become the first Latino person to hold the cabinet position, in a 50 to 49 vote on Thursday. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was the only Republican to vote for him .

The confirmation took longer, and the vote was closer, than many expected. But right away, even as they congratulated him, healthcare technology stakeholders called on him to support innovation across the industry.

“Secretary Becerra’s support for digital health tools and services’ increased use will be critical as we continue the fight against COVID-19 and to bring the best healthcare available to all Americans, particularly those in underserved communities,” said Connected Health Initiative executive director Morgan Reed in a statement.

“CHI looks forward to working with Secretary Becerra and HHS to bring the American healthcare system into the 21st century,” he added.

WHY IT MATTERS During his confirmation hearings in February, Becerra signaled his support for telemedicine and other digital health tools.”If we don’t […]

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