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Health IT

 

The “internet of things,” or IoT, is in its infancy everywhere in healthcare, according to Warren Averett security services director Paul Perry. For those on the finance side of hospitals and health systems, he says this connected technology offers great opportunity to those who realize its potential.

Out of the $6 billion CMS made in Medicare electronic health records (EHR) incentive payments by June 2014, the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) estimated $729 million was paid to professionals who didn’t meet meaningful use requirements.

Confirming months of speculation, Cerner has been selected to replace the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ in-house electronic health record system.

Electronic health record (EHR) vendor eClinicalWorks will pay $155 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging it “falsely obtained” meaningful use certification and gave customers kickbacks in exchange for publicly promoting its products.

Reducing funding to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) from $60 million to $38 million, as the Trump administration has proposed, may hamper advancements in interoperability and the goals of 21st Century Cures Act, according to several leading health IT groups.

 

Recent Headlines

WEDI Survey: Few healthcare stakeholders find value in HPID transactions

Only 15 percent of all stakeholders report that they find any value in the use of unique Health Plan Identifier within electronic transactions adopted under HIPAA, according to a survey from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange.

HHS bends on Meaningful Use Stage 2

In a final rule published Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updated its requirement that eligible providers must use 2014 Edition certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs payments this year. Instead, they can now use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014.

FBI to examine ways to communicate cyber threat information more quickly

In the wake of the Community Health Systems (CHS) disclosure that hackers breached its computer system and accessed personal but not health data it held on 4.3 million people, a representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) joined the monthly Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) cyber threat information call to discuss work being done to build a better public-private partnership on cyber threats facing the healthcare industry.

Study indicates improvement needed in EHR patient portals' display of test results

As healthcare systems implement EHR systems with patient portals for sharing test results and other health information in order to comply with Meaningful Use requirements, many have expressed concern that patients may be unable to comprehend their test results outside of a physician consult. A new study by University of Michigan researchers indicates that these critics may be right.

CHS confirms Chinese hackers accessed personal information on 4.5 million patients

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Community Health Systems (CHS), the nation’s leading for-profit publicly-traded operator of general acute-care hospitals, disclosed that this spring, a group likely originating in China was able to bypass its computer security measures and copy non-medical information on approximately 4.5 million individuals either treated at or referred to one of its facilities in the past five years.

CMS finally pins down new official ICD-10 deadline

As expected, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced late Thursday that Oct. 1, 2015, will indeed be the new transition date for the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10) coding system in healthcare claims — a date stakeholders have urged it to settle on for months.

Massachusetts attorney general wins $150,000 settlement from hospital that lost patient data

When computers or data-storage media with protected personal health information on them go missing, healthcare providers don’t just face the threat of federal fines and patient class action suits. Individual states also can sue if their residents were impacted.

MGMA joins in asking for greater Stage 2 Meaningful Use flexibility

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has joined other leading organizations, including the American Medical Association, in writing to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to ask for even more flexibility in how eligible providers can meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements for electronic health record technology under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

Recent court rulings could provide cover when computers with patient data are stolen

July decisions by courts in California and Illinois place limits on patient class-action suits when thieves steal computers containing protected personal health data.

Worries that hospitals will use EHRs to upcode may be overblown, new study finds

A study appearing in the latest issue of Health Affairs finds no evidence that hospitals are using new electronic health records (EHRs) to increase Medicare reimbursements.

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