Robert Wilkie—scheduled to be sworn in as the new Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday, July 30—has big plans for reorganizing the upper levels of the agency. His efforts are aimed at boosting flagging morale while ensuring leadership remains nonpartisan.

Ximena Barreto, a communications official in HHS since December 2017, resigned after CNN and Media Matters reported she spread conspiracy theories and made anti-Muslim statements on social media. Barreto was placed on leave in April.

Former CEO and president of the Cleveland Clinic, Toby Cosgrove, MD, will be an executive advisor to Google Cloud’s healthcare and life sciences team.

Paul Mango, a one-time GOP gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania and noted critic of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will join CMS as chief principal deputy administrator and chief of staff.

In November 2017, Maine voters supported a referendum to expand Medicaid covered under the Affordable Care Act—becoming the first state to do so with a direct vote. But it has been nearly nine months since election day, and Gov. Paul LePage has refused to expand the program, claiming it’s a budgetary disaster. Now, three weeks after enrollment opened, hundreds of Mainers wait to see when they will receive health insurance.

Robert Wilkie received Senate confirmation as the new Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday, July 23, by an 86-9 vote.

RCCH Healthcare Partners (RCCH), owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, announced a merger with Tennessee-based LifePoint Health in a transaction worth approximately $5.6 billion.

Carestream Health announced Thursday, July 19, that David C. Westgate has been named the company’s new chairman, president and CEO.

Adam Boehler, the director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), has been appointed to serve as a senior adviser to for HHS’s Value-Based Transformation and Innovation.

Sean Slovenski, a former executive at Humana, has been hired to run Walmart’s healthcare business, Bloomberg reported.

Inflammatory tweets have led to the departures of two HHS political appointees who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Association groups see some of CMS's new proposals as a missed opportunity to encourage the move to value-based care.