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7 Responses

  1. HIT security: An expensive, losing battle … And for what?

    “Health Care System’s HIPAA Security Risk Results in $2.14 Million Fine” By Bruce D. Armon, Karilynn Bayus for JD Supra Business Advisor, October 26, 2016


    “On October 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced that St. Joseph Health (SJH) agreed to settle allegations relating to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, pay $2.14 million and enter into a corrective action plan (CAP). This is the 12th settlement announced by OCR in 2016. The fines imposed by OCR this year from these settlements total approximately $23 million.”

    Important Takeaways and Next Steps:

    “The multimillion-dollar SJH settlement underscores the importance for covered entities to have robust HIPAA Security policies and protections in place at all times. The introduction of a new computer server and the failure to perform an evaluation of this seemingly modest change in IT infrastructure resulted in a breach of PHI affecting thousands of SJH patients, a significant financial penalty and a comprehensive CAP that will keep SJH activities and ongoing HIPAA compliance front and center with the OCR.

    In order to protect electronic PHI, covered entities and business associates should regularly review HIPAA Privacy and Security policies, undertake an enterprise-wide risk analysis, and thereafter implement an appropriate risk management plan.”


    Note: This multi-million dollar liability does not apply to dentists who do not digitally store or transmit Protected Health Information (PHI) over the internet.

    Until de-identified dental EHRs come along, paper is the gold standard of security in the dental community, with a track record going back hundreds of years. In comparison to digital records which can be stolen from the other side of the world, the inherent security offered by heavy, loud metal filing cabinets is looking better and better – not only to dentists, but to increasingly informed, increasingly wary consumers as well. Breach notices become farewell notes, and over 90% of healthcare organizations have suffered at least one reportable breach in the last two years (Ponemon).

    How long before the American Dental Association’s ADA News takes down the deceptive ad for The Digital Dental Record – “The only EHR system endorsed by ADA Business Resources™”? (See: “EHRs provide long-term savings and convenience.” No byline, ADA News, December 6, 2013).


    Can the not-for-profit corporation afford the cost of truth?

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS


  2. Tech-enabled health care

    Is the health care system ready?

    Health care in the US is changing: consumers are more engaged, the nation’s aging population is growing, chronic diseases are on the rise, and game-changing laws like MACRA are being implemented in the shift to value-based care. These are just a few factors driving care delivery outside the four walls of a traditional doctor’s office. Technology and the Internet of Things can help, providing improved and personalized care – and creating value for industry stakeholders.

    But are consumers and caregivers ready for new technology like telehealth, and even robots and drones, to receive care?

    And, are federal and state policies evolving to even keep up with changing demands and technology in these value-based care models?

    Deloitte Research


  3. BLOCK CHAIN – What it is – How it works?

    Highly popular today in the healthcare sector today, Block chain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology.

    It allows for medical businesses to digitize transaction workflow through shared and replicated ledger. Block chain technology organizes data so that transactions can be verified through the consensus of all parties involved therein. Tis may vary from individual’s personal health record to financial payments. It ensures greater accuracy. In healthcare, a patient’s record can thus be validated and errors reduced.


    The technology ensures that the security is enhanced and chances of misuse greatly lessened. Block chain is a promising technology and has the potential to bring about positive changes in areas like identity and medical billing fraud.

    Dr. David Marcinko MBA


  4. Health Information Technology is a scam …. It’s always been a scam!

    If you are upset that Health and Human Services overpaid providers by $729 million to purchase and use “certified” EHRs in a “meaningful” way, you’ll probably not like the latest news much either: “Mistaken EHR incentive payments may have been unavoidable” By Rachel Z. Arndt for ModernHealthcare, June 14, 2017.


    “After it was announced that the CMS potentially made mistaken payments to providers for meaningful use, healthcare policy advisers questioned the agency’s oversight capabilities. But some wondered whether the overpayments, which totaled an estimated 12% of incentive payments, may have just been the price of doing business.”

    The price of doing business. Maybe HHS should get out of the business.

    Darrell K. Pruitt DDS


  5. HIT News

    “Don’t Download This Word File: New Ransomware Deletes Victim’s Files In 96 Hours – The user has 96 hours to undergo the process of paying for the decryption key. If they fail to do so, the ransomware will allegedly delete the files from the machine permanently. The attackers advise victims to pay the ransom and not to ‘try anything stupid.’”

    By AJ Dellinger for IBI Times
    December 12, 2017

    “Is the World Ready for the New Generation of Self-Propagating Ransomware? – The propagation mechanisms employed by both ransomware families [WannaCry and Petya], enabled the threats to spread quickly across an entire computer network.”

    By lambdasec.github.io for Security Boulevard
    December 12, 2017.

    “Expect more weaponized malware as hackers focus on cashing in – Healthcare providers are overwhelmingly concerned by the potential threat of a breach caused by email and are making cyber resilience strategies to protect against ransomware and malware a top initiative over the next 12 months, according to a new report from Mimecast and HIMSS Analytics.”

    By Jessica Davis for Healthcare IT News
    December 12, 2017.

    “Massive Necurs Botnet Regains Strength With Devastating Scarab Ransomware Deployments – The largest spam botnet in the world has a new trick up its sleeve, prompting security outfit Check Point to place it back in its list of the top ten most prevalent malwares. Called Necurs, the botnet dished up more than 12 million emails in a single morning during the Thanksgiving holiday. What makes it even more annoying, however, is that hackers have added the relatively new Scarab ransomware to the botnet’s list of dirty tricks”

    By Paul Lilly for Hot Hardware
    December 12, 2017

    Nevertheless, American Dental Association officials continue to reassure the nation’s dentists, “EHRs provide long-term savings and convenience.”

    No byline, ADA News
    December 6, 2013

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS


  6. 49% of Adults Are Very Concerned About Health Information Security

    SCOUT recently conducted a survey of American adults regarding their views on healthcare information security. Here are some key findings from the report:

    • Half of adults are extremely/very concerned about health information security.
    • 36% of adults currently use an online portal to access their health information.
    • Those aged 35+ are more likely to use a portal than those aged 18-34 (39% vs. 28%).
    • 31% of American adults are most concerned about diagnosed diseases being shared.

    Source: Cision, July 25, 2018

    Liked by 1 person


    Quest Diagnostics Reports 11.9 Million Patients’ Payment Information Hacked in Massive Data Breach


    Liked by 1 person

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