With increasing federal scrutiny of health care data breaches, maintaining a secure network and clinical infrastructure is crucial for both payers and providers. Topics here include: data breaches, data encryption and other security techniques, access and authentication issues, and regulatory requirements.
The risk-rating features of a new tool developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to help healthcare providers in small to medium sized physician offices conduct security risk assessments (SRA) need improvement.
Many providers have implemented or are considering the use of patient portals to assist in meeting meaningful use patient engagement criteria. Quest Diagnostics, which sells the Care360 suite of provider software, gives tips to physician practices for successful use of portals.
Threats to the security and privacy of patient data in the U.S. healthcare system are increasing, healthcare organizations continue to struggle with the increasingly complex federal and state privacy and security regulations, and many, if not most, providers have experienced a data breach.
National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo wants to see changes made to the Health IT Policy Committee's current "somewhat siloed" workgroup structure. In a meeting last week of the HIT Policy Committee, DeSalvo called for fewer workgroups but expansion of their scopes so that they are more "strategic and forward-thinking" with the restructuring slated to begin in May for a couple of the workgroups and the rest of the transition continuing this summer.
Many healthcare organizations migrating information systems to a cloud-hosted service struggle developing an appropriate strategy for the task, says Ed King, managing director of healthcare consulting services at disaster recovery and cloud-hosting vendor Sungard Availability Services. The Wayne, Pa.-based company split from software and processing services vendor SunGard in March and became an independent entity.
In an April 8 meeting, the Health IT Policy Committee approved best practices recommended by its Privacy and Security Tiger Team to assure that proxies acting on behalf of adult patients have proper access to protected health information.
The Northern California division of Kaiser Permanente is notifying about 5,100 patients that protected health information was on a server found in February 2014 to be infected with malicious software.
Clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, are conducting a pilot program in which notes they write about patients' mental health treatment is shared with those patients
A February 2014 breach at a billing firm serving Los Angeles Countys public health services originally believed to affect more than 168,000 patients is now up to 338,700 victims.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects soon to publicly post Medicare payment information on more than 880,000 healthcare professionals in all 50 states.
The federal government, in its new report on creating a risk-based regulatory framework for health information technology, focuses on the functionality of HIT products, not the platform whether it be cloud-based, installed or mobile.
Sookasa Inc. has announced general availability of Sookasa Compliance as a Service, which encrypts files wherever they are and while in transit.
Catholic Health Initiatives has notified nearly 12,000 patients in five states following an email phishing scam that compromised protected health information.
Secure messaging software vendor TigerText is guaranteeing $1 million in protection against fines because of violations of HIPAA security rule technical safeguards that result from using its product.
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced the availability of a new security risk assessment (SRA) tool to help providers in small to medium sized physician offices conduct risk assessments to aid in complying with HIPAA requirements for securing protected health information.