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Soon-Shiong Appointed to Health IT Committee

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has appointed Patrick Soon-Shiong to a committee that will advise President Donald Trump on health information technology, Politico reports.

Trump has reportedly also considered Soon-Shiong, the CEO of NantWorks, for science advisor or for director of the National Institutes of Health.

However, Soon-Shiong has been under scrutiny lately because of possible conflicts of interest, Politico adds. Stat News reported in February that NantWorks' Cancer MoonShot 2020 initiative seems to be an "elaborate marketing tool for Soon-Shiong" and largely promotes the use of NantHealth's GPS Cancer tool.

Separately, Stat News reported in March that when Soon-Shiong donated $12 million to the University of Utah, $10 million of that came back to his own companies. Politico similarly found that expenditures by Soon-Shiong's nonprofit organizations often flow to his businesses and other nonprofits.

The Health IT Advisory Committee was created by the 21st Century Cures Act and, as Politico notes, it authorizes Congressional leaders to appoint eight of the committee's 25 members. According to Politico, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named Steve Ready, the CIO of Norton Healthcare, to the committee, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi selected Steven Lane from Sutter Health for the panel.