Health IT Issues that Deserve a Second Read – April 2016

Top10-200One of the ways that HITECH Answers is different from other media sites is the sense of community. The thought leaders in our community are good about sharing their thoughts on the issues of today. We publish at least eleven guest posts a week now, on our three sites. In case you missed some, here are the top ten read and shared guest posts of the month. You can also read previous month’s Top Ten Lists. Thank you for contributing and reading.

Clinical Effectiveness: The Evolution of Evidence-Based Medicine
By Denise Basow, M.D., President and CEO of Clinical Effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer
Twitter: @Wolters_Kluwer

Clinical effectiveness is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “the application of best knowledge, derived from research, clinical experience and patient preferences to achieve optimum processes and outcomes of care for patients.” Focus on it has intensified as healthcare systems in the United States and many other countries strive to curtail costs while improving the quality and safety of care, as well as enhancing access to care and the experience patients have with the healthcare system. Continue reading on…

Is Ransomware Considered A HIPAA Breach?
By Art Gross
Twitter: @HIPAASecureNow

The topic of ransomware, especially ransomware hitting healthcare organizations, is making headlines daily. Dan Munro has a very good article over at Forbes that asks an important question: Is Ransomware Considered A Health Data Breach Under HIPAA? David Harlow, Principal – The Harlow Group, LLC, whose insight into HIPAA law I respect greatly, states: Continue reading on…

You’re Not Investing Enough in IT Security, Healthcare
By Irv H. Lichtenwald, Chief Executive Officer, Medsphere

Mathematically, the gap between $3.6 million and $17,000 is a chasm. This is something you know well if you’re Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, which paid the latter number to unlock patient data held hostage by malicious hackers using ransomware when the former number is what the hackers initially asked for. While the dramatic reduction in ransom may have caused Hollywood Presbyterian to breathe a sigh of relief, there is no reason they or you should feel comforted. Consider this an initial shot across the bow of what promises to be a lengthy and spirited battle between wired healthcare and cybercriminals. Continue reading on…

Enabling Clinical-Grade Health Management Devices
By Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO and Founder of Biotricity Inc.
Twitter: @biotricity_inc

Today’s increasingly fast paced world keeps us struggling to meet our daily health and wellness objectives. The pressures and stresses associated with a competitive lifestyle, coupled with convenient and often unhealthy eating choices, pose a myriad of problems that far surpass what previous generations have experienced. At the same time, there is an increase in awareness on the short and long-term effects of unhealthy lifestyle habits which has resulted in a collective effort to make better living choices. Continue reading on…

OCR HIPAA Audits – It’s Real This Time
By Jonathan Krasner, Director of Business Development, HIPAA Secure Now!
Twitter: @HIPAASecureNow

Although HIPAA is an important set of laws passed to protect the sensitive medical information handled by millions of covered entities and business associates, Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has never established a permanent compliance audit program. Auditing activity to date by OCR has consisted of a pilot program of audits conducted in 2011 and 2012, involving less than 200 covered entities. It is no wonder that many medical providers have had little concern about ever being subject to a HIPAA compliance audit, and hence many have made compliance a low priority. They have never been audited nor have they heard of anyone who has. This situation is now going to change. Continue reading on…

HCC Model: Down to the Basics from Coding to Documentation
By Johanna Legaspi, Hayes Management Consulting
Twitter: @HayesManagement

Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) were mandated in 1997 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and have been the basis for reimbursement for Medicare Advantage plans (MA) since 2004. HCCs use data to prospectively estimate predicted costs for enrolled members during the next year of coverage. These estimates are based on demographic information such as age and major medical conditions documented in the previous 12-month period. They are used to adjust Medicare capitation payments to Medicare Advantage health plans based on the anticipated risk of enrollees calculated from relevant ICD-10-CM codes. Continue reading on…

Balancing Act: Making Data Security a Priority in Daily Nursing Routines
By Terry Hayes, RN MSN, CPNP, CNOR, VP Client Experience at PerfectServe
Twitter: @PerfectServe

Regardless of the hospital or specialty office, nurses are an essential piece of patient-centered healthcare delivery models. As a former pediatric nurse practitioner, I know firsthand the amount of responsibilities nurses juggle, all while maintaining the personal, bedside manner needed to ensure patients and their families feel comfortable and knowledgeable about treatment and care. Nurses are often the first and last point of contact to provide care for a patient, and a critical part of the clinical communication process, especially in the digital age. Continue reading on…

Relax Chicken Little, The Interoperability Sky is NOT Falling!
By Brian Mack, Manager of Marketing and Communications at Great Lakes Health Connect
Twitter: @BFMack

There is arguably no topic in health information technology that generates more industry media coverage and online chatter than Interoperability. There is no doubt that a nationally connected system for securely and seamlessly sharing electronic health data is an inevitable necessity. Making progress toward this goal has proven to be… challenging. But is the urgency and attention really warranted? Or has the hype blown practical consideration of the topic completely out of proportion? How do average providers and their patients feel about the access they have to information necessary to support their health? What role does (or should) provider/patient perception play in how we rank priorities and their urgency? Continue reading on…

The Audits Are Coming! The Audits Are Coming!
By Bob Grant, Chief Strategy Officer, Compliancy Group
Twitter: @compliancygroup

As of March 22, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has officially begun their Phase 2 HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Audit Program. This announcement comes after months of speculation and preparation for the eventual roll-out of this new program. Luckily, with Compliancy Group you won’t have to go it alone. Just like Paul Revere on his midnight ride, we’re here to warn you of the dangers ahead, and keep you as informed as we can about the forthcoming updates coming out of OCR. Continue reading on…

3 Evolving Revenue Cycle Trends: Leveraging Them to Improve Financial Viability
From the Hayes Healthcare Leaders Blog Series (@HayesManagement)
By Celeste Daye, Senior Director Patient Financial Services, Dana Farber Cancer Institute (@danafarber)

Healthcare finance executives from leading healthcare organizations like the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, and the Cleveland Clinic have dubbed 2016 the “year of integration” for revenue cycle. They see consolidating complex revenue systems as the best way to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and improve the patient experience. One of the key aspects of such integration is involving the patient more in the financial aspects of their care. Continue reading on…

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