An IC3 report said the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 298,728 cybercrime complaints last year, 2,673 of which were ransomware complaints, amounting to more than $2.4 million in reported losses. Researchers evaluated cybercrime complaints across various industries in the US, including health care, and found that ransomware was ranked 22nd in terms of cybercrime by victim count and 25th by victim loss.
A total of 1,708 Aetna members in Ohio and approximately 522 in Texas had their protected health information exposed online for several months, Aetna officials said. The privacy breach, which compromised members' names, provider information, Aetna member identification numbers, claim payment amounts, and procedure/service codes and dates of service in some cases, involved "two computer services that display documents to members and other intended recipients," the company said.
The Healthcare Financial Management Association and Navigant surveyed 125 hospital and health system financial executives and found that while 79% intend to focus on technology for revenue cycle management improvement over the next year, 51% reported having difficulty implementing EHR upgrades and maximizing the technology's workflow and reporting upgrades, and 41% do not have a method to monitor the efficacy of their technology improvements. Ninety-three of respondents do offer an online payment portal, and 63% provide cost-of-care estimation tools for patients.
Baxter International's DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Manager will be integrated with Epic's Willow Inpatient Pharmacy System to improve pharmacy efficiency and safety. According to the agreement reached by the companies, clinicians will submit medication dose orders from the Epic EMR system to the DoseEdge System, which will then return medication data to the patient's medical record to enable appropriate billing processes.
The FDA announced the creation of a new centralized Digital Health Unit within its Center for Devices and Radiological Health, which, along with the publication of a draft guidance on software as a medical device last fall, is designed to support the advancement of digital health and technological innovation. The Digital Health Unit seeks to develop and implement policies and regulatory strategies for digital health technologies and to create collaborations and boost outreach to customers.
A collaboration between the ONC and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion revised the former's patient engagement playbook to help health care professionals improve health care delivery and patient engagement. The ODPHP's myhealthfinder consumer tool was added to the playbook to ensure that health care professionals provide updated educational content to patients.
The number of cyberattacks using SamSam ransomware in the health care sector has increased, with victims being forced to pay more than ever, according to researchers from AlienVault. Organizations are forced to pay 12 bitcoins, or $32,800, if all of its machines are infected; 6 bitcoins, or $16,400, to have half of its machines decrypted; and 1.7 bitcoins, or almost $4,600, for one machine.
Cyberattackers are using phishing, exploit kits, malware and distributed denial-of-service tactics during health care security breaches, said Josh Singletary, CIO of the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center. Health care organizations can boost data breach protections through systems patching, two-factor authentication, network segmentation, measuring enterprise risk, education and training, and information sharing, Singletary said.
CHIME is accepting nominations and applications for awards honoring the outstanding efforts and accomplishments of members who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and collaboration through the application of technology in health care. CHIME members and CHIME Foundation firm representatives can apply for or nominate candidates for select awards. The awards include the CHIME Outstanding Service Award, the CHIME-AHA Transformational Leadership Award, Innovator of the Year Award, the CHIME Foundation Industry Leader Award and CHIME Foundation Partner Award. The deadline for submissions is July 25. Learn more.
New York-based A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital's recently deployed telemedicine program has shown promise in improving infectious disease treatment, said hospital official Dr. Jonathan Croft. Fox Hospital will also expand telemedicine to its other subspecialty services, Croft said.
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