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Healthcare to be ‘plagued’ by data breaches in 2015

Healthcare IT News, December 12, 2014

BEI Commentary: Security incidents/data breaches continue to grow, and healthcare organizations have more at risk than many  organizations. This article which summarizes a report from Experian, suggests that healthcare executives need to make security a priority in 2015

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.

The C-suite “can no longer ignore the drastic impact a data breach has” on an organization’s reputation, says Experian officials. Coupled with the fact that consumers are “demanding more communication and remedies” after a breach occurs, healthcare organizations must put preparedness front and center. Read More

MU attestation extended by one month

Heathcare IT News, February 7, 2014

BEI Commentary: CMS is extending the Meaningful Use attestation deadline by one month.  Not sure why, but no one is complaining!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is extending the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program 2013, the agency announced today.

“We are seeing extraordinary interest from healthcare providers participating in the Electronic Heath Records Incentive Programs, and to help ensure all eligible healthcare providers are able to receive their incentive payments, we are extending the attestation deadline for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program by one month for professionals,” CMS officials said in a statement. “Additionally, hospitals that may have missed their reporting deadline have an opportunity to submit their attestation retroactively.” Read More


Dropbox in healthcare: A love-hate thing

Healthcare IT News, 11/19/13

BEI Commentary: Many people use dropbox for filesharing.  We suspect a lot of you are.  It’s easy, free in many cases, and convenient.  One problem – it is not HIPAA compliant.

Torie Jones, former chief privacy officer at University of Pennsylvania Health System, had an ironclad rule in place for her staff: “No PHI in the cloud until you have a BAA in place.”

For most cloud-based vendors, those who are used to the specific demands of working in healthcare, getting that business associate agreement in place wouldn’t be much of a problem.

But when it comes to using the popular file hosting service Dropbox, that all-important contract isn’t something that’s readily forthcoming. Read More

CMS pays out nearly $12.7B to date in meaningful use EHR adoption incentives

Healthcare IT News, April 8, 2013

BEI Commentary: Here are the latest statistics on Meaningful Use payments.  Almost one out of every two physicians are participating.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports it has paid out nearly $12.7 billion in meaningful use incentive payments through February 2013, according to the latest figures available.

The electronic health record adoption incentive program, launched under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has now drawn 264,292 Medicare eligible providers (EPs) to date, including 120,002 Medicaid registrants and 4,299 hospitals, according to CMS. Read More

CMS posts clinical quality measures for 2014 MU

Healthcare IT News, October 25, 2012

BEI Commentary:  CMS has announced the CQMs for 2014 – a change compared to what is being reported today.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the final 2014 clinical quality measures (CQMs) for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals seeking to attest for meaningful use.

Beginning in 2014, the reporting of clinical quality measures will change for all providers. Electronic health record (EHR) technology that has been certified to the 2014 standards and capabilities will contain new CQM criteria. Read More

Provider associates need security plans, too

EHR Watch, May 15, 2012

BEI Commentary: If you have an EHR you need an IT support company, or you need internal staff to support your network and hardware.  Most ambulatory practices will either partially or totally outsource their IT.  It is a good idea to work with a company that understands the healthcare vertical and its rules and regulations (shameless plug:  BEI is one such company).  Business Associates Agreements are one of the reasons why.

So you’ve been working hard to firm up your IT security protocols and systems, and you’re feeling good about the progress you’ve made.

Now, how about your myriad partners who also have access to your patients’ health information?

As this observer points out, for many providers that’s a different story altogether. He says that “while the HIPAA rules have been around for a while — the Security Rule’s compliance date goes back to 2005 — hospitals and other health care providers have not consistently devoted a significant amount of time to business associate security.” Read More

Mid-west network gets system-wide image sharing

Healthcare IT News, April 10, 2012

BEI Commentary: The big takeaway here is this health systems commitment to interoperability for its images.  This is the theme of Stage 2 Meaningful Use, and we will see many more implementations of this type in the future.

For policymakers, the goal is the NHIN, the National Health Information Network that will enable healthcare providers to share patient information anywhere across the country.

While that goal is still a few years away, to put it mildly, it’s possible to get a sense of the implications of that breadth of connectivity when the switch gets thrown on a significantly smaller network, for just one type of information, at the local or regional level. Read More

2011 MU incentives paid: $2.5B

Healthcare IT News, January 10, 2012

BEI Commentary: We have seen lots of data on the number of physicians signed up for Meaningful Use incentives.  Here is the latest of information.  Of note is that in 2011 approximately 1/3 of all eligible Medicare providers signed registered.  If this rate keeps up, the vast majority of Medicare providers will be participating in this program before it is over.

The Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record program has paid more than $2.5 billion to physicians and hospitals in incentive payments for all of 2011, with December contributing to the steep growth curve. The final 2011 data won’t be in until early March because physicians can register and attest in the Medicare program until the end of February to receive payment for what is considered calendar 2011, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. States also can take weeks to submit their final Medicaid incentive data.

Medicare incentives for demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs reached $1.38 billion for the year, while Medicaid payments for providers to adopt, implement and upgrade their EHRs were estimated at $1.15 billion, for a total of $2.53 billion. In November, payments amounted to $1.8 billion. Read More

iPad 2 a boon to Weill Cornell Medical College students

Healthcare IT News, September 15, 2011

BEI Commentary: If you are thinking of hiring a new doctor out of medical school, you will be getting someone who is trained on using technology and EHRs at the point of care. Another important reason for your practice to adopt an EHR: your future staffing needs.

First- and second-year students at Weill Cornell Medical College are being provided with new iPads, which will be synched with EMRs for training during their clerkships.

The iPad 2 will serve to replace students’ printed course notes and texts allowing them to download course materials, see video or hear audio recordings of lectures, submit electronic course evaluations, access their grades and collaborate with other students. Read More

Physician Interview: Pursuing EHR Meaningful Use Incentives

Healthcare IT News, August 5, 2011

BEI Commentary: Don’t listen to us – here is some good practical information about EHRs and Meaningful Use from a solo practioner.

A 24-year veteran, Patrick Golden, MD, practices medicine in Fresno, Calif. Recently, he successfully steered his solo practice through Stage 1 meaningful use attestation. In the following interview with EHRWatch, he offers guidance to other physicians hoping to receive federal incentives through meaningful use.

EHRWatch: What was your initial reaction to meaningful use?

Dr. Golden: From the very day I heard of the program, I knew we — our practice — were going to do this. Absolutely, there was no doubt. We had purchased the Sage Intergy EHR in 2009, and it has been a wonderful asset to the practice. A robust system is vital to your success. We’ve greatly benefited from the dashboard measuring meaningful use progress and the analytics program used to collate and track data. Those two tools made the entire process so much simpler than it would have otherwise been. Read More


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