Data Breach Attack

Healthcare Data is at Higher Risk for 2015

The risk of experiencing a data breach “is higher than ever,” according to Experian’s second annual industry forecast, which shows how the “consistently high value of healthcare data on the black market” means there will be little respite from risk-fraught landscape.

Nearly half of organizations across all industries were hit by at least one security incident in the past 12 months, according to the report, which has spurred 48 percent of organizations to invest in security technologies and 73 percent to develop data breach response plans. Cyber insurance policies are another important new strategy, more than doubling in popularity, from 10 percent in 2013 to 26 percent in 2014.

Read the full article on HealthCare IT News

Malware and the Home Depot Security Breach

Security experts are analyzing the latest details that big-box retailer Home Depot provided about the data breach that exposed 56 million payment cards, including the nature of the malware used in the attack.

“It may have been the lowest-hanging fruit for the attacker to pluck.”

Read the full Healthcare Info Security article

HIPAA Alert – More On-Site Audits Planned

Federal regulators are delaying the start of phase two of the HIPAA audit program until the agency responsible for enforcement finishes the roll-out of technology that will allow audited organizations to submit data via a Web portal.

And once the program resumes, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights plans to do more on-site audits and fewer remote “desk audits” than officials originally planned, Linda Sanches, an OCR senior adviser, said during a Sept. 9 presentation at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s privacy and security forum in Boston.

Read the full article on HealthCare Info Security website

Cyber Attacks Hitting the Health Sector

The healthcare industry has had several loud wake-up calls so far this year, providing an alarm that the sector is not immune to the kinds of hacker attacks that have been more commonly associated with banks and retailers.

The most recent was a breach at Community Health Systems, which the hospital chain says involved Chinese hackers who used “highly sophisticated malware” to gain access to information on 4.5 million patients.

The healthcare industry cannot afford to snooze while cybercriminals plan their next assault. Organizations of all sizes need to be ready to recognize the threats and mitigate the risks.

Read the full Healthcare Info Security article here

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Telemedicine and Big Savings

Telemedicine could potentially deliver more than $6 billion a year in health care savings to U.S. companies, according to analysis by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). An illustration of the program’s possibilities, achieving this level of savings would require all employees and their dependents to use the technology-enabled interactions available today in place of face-to-face visits to the doctor, urgent care center or emergency room (for appropriate medical problems).

“While this analysis highlights a maximum potential savings, even a significantly lower level of use could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in savings,” said Dr. Allan Khoury, a senior consultant at Towers Watson. “Achieving this savings requires a shift in patient and physician mindsets, health plan willingness to integrate and reimburse such services, and regulatory support in all states.”

Read the full article on TowersWatson.com

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Financial Innovation Is A Big Challenge

For the sixth year, medical practice executives revealed their biggest daily professional challenges to MGMA and disclosed their struggles to adapt to rapid changes, legislative pressures and fiscal uncertainty. According to 1,067 respondents to the “Medical Practice Today: What members have to say” research, the top five most applicable and intense challenges of running a group practice are:

  1. Dealing with rising operating costs
  2. Preparing for reimbursement models that place a greater share of financial risk on the practice
  3. Managing finances with the uncertainty of Medicare reimbursement rates
  4. Collecting from self¬-pay, high-deductible, and/or health savings account patients
  5. Understanding the total cost of an episode of care

Read the full article at Medical Group Management Association

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The Triple Aim of Telemedicine?

The triple aim is the goal of current healthcare reform through the implementation and adoption of health information technology, but are healthcare organizations and providers overlooking the role of telemedicine in achieving this end?

“Perhaps the real question to ask is this: Why aren’t health systems, hospitals, and physician practices working more aggressively to allow telemedicine support their move to outcomes-based care?”

Read the full article at EHR Intelligence

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