Health IT Issues that Deserve a Second Read – Most Read in 2020

One of the ways that HealthIT 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. From our Day 10: Leaping Over to HealthIT Answers for Top Reads from HealthcareNOW Radio, here are the most read and shared posts of the year. Thank you to all these authors that have shared their thoughts with us and our readers.

You can also read previous month’s Top Ten Lists. Thank you for contributing and reading.

How Payers and Providers Can Align and Collaborate, with or without Vertical Integration
By Suzanne Cogan, Chief Commercial Officer, SPH Analytics
Twitter: @SPHAnalytics

The relationship between payers and providers has come a long way over the last decade, as the push toward value-based care has shifted the dynamic between the two healthcare stakeholders. Working together effectively, and with common, aligned goals, is increasingly linked with the ability to provide high-quality, cost-effective care. Continue reading…

The Intersection of Population Health and Public Health in a Pandemic
By Jenifer Leaf Jaeger, MD, MPH, Sr. Medical Director, HealthEC
Twitter: @HealthEC_LLC

“And this mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up. There is no way at all!” Dr. Seuss. Theodor Geisel authored “The Cat in the Hat” in 1956 under the pen name Dr. Seuss. In the story, the Cat and his companions must clean up the shambles they have made of the children’s house. The Cat laments, “And this mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up. There is no way at all.” For more months we have anguished over the coronavirus outbreak and its roiling toll on humanity, including our patients and our healthcare workforce. We feel the heavy weight and worry of a public health “mess” that seems almost insurmountable.  Continue reading…

Healthcare Identity Governance in the Era of COVID-19
By John Racine, Managing Director of the Identity and Access Management Business, Core Security
Twitter: @CoreSecurity

The impact of COVID-19 has been far-reaching across nearly every sector. But none has been so greatly disrupted as the healthcare industry. Managing through this crisis has required healthcare systems to expand some aspects of their workforce and redeploy others virtually overnight in order to transform the way they offer services to patients. Continue reading…

7 Steps for Getting the Optimal Value-Based Deal from your Health Plan Partners
By Craig Enge, Senior Vice President, Lumeris
Twitter: @Lumeris

Regardless of the quality of care delivered, contracting can have as much or more impact on the financial success of your health system. The road to value is littered with health systems that performed well, engaged in a value-focused process, yet still categorized their contract as a failure. But getting the right deal from your health plan partner goes far beyond the push-pull over the same dollar that drives fee-for-service (FFS) negations. Continue reading…

Updated Informatics.Health
By William Hersh, MD, Professor and Chair, OHSU
Twitter: @williamhersh

For many years, I have had a portion of my Web site devoted to an introductory overview of the informatics field entitled, What is Biomedical & Health Informatics? I originally created this site to provide an answer to that question I was asked from time to time. I still maintain and keep it up to date both to still provide an overview of the field as well as demonstrate the technology we use in our virtual courses. Continue reading…

How Training Helps Your Practice Adapt to Change
By Scott Zeitzer, President, Health Connective 
Twitter: @hlthconnective

The way we approach healthcare is shifting, perhaps now more rapidly than ever before. Leadership and staff have to evolve along with the practice, or the practice as a whole may not adapt to change as smoothly. Training can help your practice adapt more quickly to change as it happens. Training can help your leadership team all the way down to your front desk staff. This is a topic we have discussed at length on our Paradigm Shift of Healthcare podcast, and even featured it on Episode 23. Here are just a few situations where training can help your practice adapt more easily. Continue reading…

Why Encryption is Essential in Healthcare Cybersecurity Strategies
By Marty Puranik, President and CEO, Atlantic.Net
Twitter: @AtlanticNet

Throw on any spy movie from years ago and you are guaranteed to get a scene where a code is being written or cracked in some clever manner. While ciphers, lemon juice as invisible ink, and number coding are fun, these methods are easily revealed and used more for entertainment purposes than real security. So, when an organization needs a reliable, secure communication method, what options are available? Encryption is a great answer, but the specifics of that term can be a bit fuzzy. For organizations that have a legal obligation to protect their data from unscrupulous individuals, like those operating in the healthcare industry, it is essential to get their encryption strategy right. Continue reading…

Why Now?: Question Surrounding FQHC HIPAA Fine
By Matt Fisher, Attorney and chair of the Health Law Group at Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee, LLP.
Twitter: @matt_r_fisher

Why now? That is a question that Metropolitan Community Health Services, which operates as Agape Health Services (Agape) must be asking at this point in time. Agape is a federally qualified health center that just entered into a HIPAA related settlement with the Office for Civil Rights. The reason for asking why now is that the breach that set off investigation leading to the fine was submitted on June 9, 2011. Continue reading…

Sustainable Telehealth: Business Associate Agreements
By Jim Tate, EMR Advocate
Twitter: @jimtate

The foundation of sustainable telehealth must provide for the protection of Personal Health Information (PHI). One of the primary issues that should be addressed is the need for Business Associate Agreements (BAAs). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides clarification by informing us that: Continue reading…

Million Dollar Laptop
By Art Gross, President and CEO, HIPAA Secure Now!
Twitter: @HIPAASecureNow

Was it made of gold? Encrusted in diamonds? No. Read on to learn how one laptop ended up being worth a massive one million dollars. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently closed an investigation into Lifespan Health System Affiliated Covered Entity for a stolen laptop incident reported back in 2017. That laptop contained…ready for this? …20,431 individual patient records that all contained protected health information (PHI). And it wasn’t encrypted. HAD it been encrypted, this would not have constituted a breach, and while problems would have resulted from the theft, one of them wouldn’t have been a million-dollar fine. Continue reading…