The White House Office of Management and Budget has proposed integrating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program into HHS and renaming the agency the Department of Health and Public Welfare as part of a sweeping plan to reorganize the federal government unveiled Thursday. The proposal, which faces tough odds of obtaining approval in Congress, also calls for the creation of the Council on Public Assistance, which would supervise food stamps, Medicaid and other programs and have the authority to impose uniform work provisions in those programs.
The WannaCrypt ransomware claims to have access to all computers on a network, demands payment in advance for not encrypting those computers and claims that once data is wiped, it will not be recoverable. Although it appears the campaign is a fraud and there is no malware that can do these things, data should be backed up regularly and all software patched and protected, writes computer security expert Paul Ducklin.
A bill passed by the House would allow the disclosure of substance use disorder patients' records, without their written consent, to public health authorities and covered entities for payment, treatment and health care operations purposes, provided that the disclosure conforms to HIPAA standards. The bill also would forbid discrimination based on substance use disorder information disclosures and would prohibit the use of such patient records in certain federal, state and local criminal and civil actions.
DrChrono's EHR platform now includes Square's credit card processing services, allowing medical practices to accept and store debit and credit card information within the EHR and OnPatient patient portal.
Almost 270,000 health and insurance records of patients may have been stolen when hackers accessed a computer workstation at health billing claims company Med Associates. The incident compromised patients' names, diagnosis and procedure codes, dates of service, insurance information, addresses and dates of birth.
EY, formerly Ernst & Young, conducted a nationwide poll and found that better patient experience, customer relationships and clinical outcomes were the key motivations cited by respondents when implementing technology adoption initiatives within health care organizations. When asked about their main initiatives for the next 12 months, health care executives listed using analytics to assist with performance improvements, acquiring patient experience metrics and enacting digital health initiatives.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' EHR project and "other major technology projects" will be monitored by an oversight panel to be created by the House, lawmakers announced. "It is important Congress is well-suited to hold VA accountable every step of the way and to ensure EHR modernization is implemented as seamlessly as possible," said Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn.
Health information exchanges can help providers develop effective public health crisis responses, address patient matching issues, boost outreach to rural areas to enhance patient care and help achieve interoperability as the industry shifts toward value-based care, writes Elizabeth Snell. However, increasing cybersecurity threats and evolving regulations should prompt providers to meet data security needs to reassure patient data protection and be updated on laws that may affect information use and disclosure during data exchanges, Snell writes.
The 2018 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey showed that 46% of almost 4,000 CIOs and technology leaders in 84 countries said their organizations have a shortfall of employees skilled in big data and analytics. Researchers also found that 36% cited a shortage of employees with technical architecture expertise, and 35% reported an organizational skill shortage in both security and resilience and enterprise architecture.
Health care organizations should use open application programming interfaces to address and improve interoperability, National Coordinator for Health IT Don Rucker wrote in a blog post. "Our primary focus is to accelerate individuals' ability to access and send their health information via their smartphones or other electronic devices, so they can shop for and coordinate care," Rucker wrote.
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