Hospitals, Hostage, Ransom – How Do Those Words Fit Together?

hospital-data-breach

Hospitals data base systems are being hacked.

It’s been all over the news … hospitals being hacked, data held hostage and ransom paid to the perps. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and MedStar Health in D.C. are two recent victims that have been prominently in the press and paid significant dollars to cyber bandits.

 
Certainly, access denied to sensitive patient data in the hands of criminal cyber-attackers is bad enough. Patient privacy is invaded and healthcare staff is hamstrung in the absence of patient treatment and status records. People with serious health issues could be denied care.
 
What though would be the real-time impact of internet muggers taking control of medical devices that monitor vital signs and deliver drugs? Smart medical devices are more and more becoming the norm. And each has an IP address which raises the security stakes even higher. A cyber-assailant who successfully acquires the IP address, makes the device fair game for hacker control … and financial demands to take action to back off.
 
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The Case for Out-patient Total Knee Arthroplasty

And Compelling Reasons Why 

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Total Knee Arthroplasty may be removed from the Medicare Inpatient Only list.

In 2000 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) to the Medicare Inpatient Only (IPO) list in 2000. More than a decade later, in 2013, the CMS proposed that the procedure be removed from the IPO list in anticipation that some Medicare beneficiaries would be well served in an outpatient environment. There was considerable adverse public reaction to this proposed move so it was not finalized at that time.

Now, three years later, the CMS is once again considering removal of TKA from the IPO list and soliciting public comments on that proposal. Driving this effort are two prime factors:

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Congressional Efforts to Take Over Healthcare IT

HELP Is On The Case

health-it

Looking at the current state of proposed healthcare Information Technology (IT) reforms as unanimously passed by the HELP Committee.

Healthcare increasingly is a patient-centered world where information technology (IT) has a major effect on diagnosis and personalized treatments. Without a doubt, electronic health record (EHR) technology is under significant scrutiny by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).

For over a year, the HELP committee has been investigating potential issues with health IT and the meaningful use of certified EHR systems. An important development occurred in February of this year when HELP voted unanimously to pass the Improving Health Information Technology Act (S. 2511).

View the the current version as revised in April of this year.

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