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.
Sixty-two percent of individuals ages 18 to 34 said they would let insurance companies use their digital data from sources such as fitness apps, smart-home devices and Facebook if doing so would lower their premiums, compared with 45% of those ages 35 to 54 and 27% of people ages 55 and older, according to a MuleSoft survey. Researchers polled over 8,000 consumers around the world and also found that 56% of respondents indicated they would change to a different insurance provider if they experienced poor digital service.
Aetna polled 1,000 consumers ages 18 and older and found those ages 18 to 34 use digital health tools more often and more view virtual office visits as valuable, compared with consumers older than 65. When asked about patients' top concerns, 80% of respondents cited privacy, followed by data security at 76% and cost of care at 73%.
A total of 161 data breaches in the health care sector were added to the HHS Office for Civil Rights' reporting website, affecting more than 2.8 million people so far this year. The most common type of incidents were unauthorized access/disclosure breaches, which compromised the information of nearly 558,000 people, followed by hacking incidents, which affected more than 1.6 million individuals, and thefts or losses, which affected nearly 660,000 people.
Two cybersecurity vulnerabilities affecting Siemens Healthineers' RAPIDLab 12 and RAPIDPoint 400/405/500 blood-gas analyzer systems could affect the devices' integrity, confidentiality and availability if attacked, the company warned. Users are advised to disable the devices' remote viewing features, have backups and system restoration procedures ready, and modify hardcoded passwords, among other precautions.
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