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Policy

 

Embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technology is “a necessity” for the health IT industry, according to Harold “Hal” Wolf III, the next president and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 was introduced to increase the rate of integration of electronic health records (EHRs). In a recent study, published by Health Affairs, researchers analyze if the bill was able to increase EHR adoption.

Having a strong first line of defense is key in any battle—and the same goes for the fight for cybersecurity. A recent newsletter released by HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) urges healthcare organizations to arm their employees with knowledge in order to prevent cyberattacks.

In response to the opioid epidemic, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, MA, PhD, R-Pennsylvania, has introduced the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act, which allows physicians to review patient information regarding previous addiction treatment through electronic health records (EHRs).

The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule would provide a boost in reimbursement to telehealth services, paying for several new services and codes.

 

Recent Headlines

FDA taking hands-off policy towards ‘low-risk’ health apps, devices

Fitness trackers and mobile apps that focus on “general wellness” won’t be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to new guidance released by the agency, while warning that more invasive technologies still fall under its purview.

Stolen laptop costs the University of Mississippi Medical Center $2.75 million

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reached a settlement of $2.75 million with the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson concerning the matter of a missing laptop.

New FDA draft guidance seeks to clarify UDI forms

A new draft guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeks to clarify how Unique Device Identifiers (UDIs) are included on medical devices.

HHS report leaves it to Congress to fill privacy gaps on health data

A report on privacy and security concerns surrounding new technology that collects health data, such as wearable fitness trackers, admitted regulations like HIPAA haven’t kept pace with new developments.

FBI gives suggestions on how to prevent healthcare hackers

In recent news, healthcare hackers such as “TheDarkOverlord” have been stealing private patient records and parading their spoils around the internet. He claims to be selling these private documents on the black market is ransom is not paid by the healthcare providers he initially stole the information from. This activity has caught the interest of the FBI, reports Information Management. 

HHS announces grants for rural telehealth training to fight opioid abuse

Three states will receive $9 million in grants to help train rural physicians in efforts to fight opioid addiction, HHS announced at the meeting of the National Governors Association.

Joint Commission keeping clinician texting ban in place until September

After reversing a five-year-old ban on healthcare organizations sending orders in May, the Joint Commission has changed plans again, announcing in its June newsletter the previous ban won’t be lifted until September.

House panel debates greater FDA role in regulating health apps

The safety, effectiveness and data security of mobile healthcare applications were examined by a U.S. House subcommittee in a July 13 hearing, with lawmakers alternating between excitement over their potential and concern that consumers’ data isn’t being protected.

21st Century Cures Act won’t get Senate vote before long recess

It’s been more than a year since the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which aims to speed up regulatory approval for medical devices and drugs, but the Senate’s chief advocate for the legislation said it’ll be at least another seven weeks before its put up for a vote.

HHS issues new guidance on ransomware attacks

HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has released its much-anticipated guidance on how healthcare organizations can better understand and respond to ransomware attacks, including defining such incidents as breaches that require affected individuals to be notified under HIPAA in most circumstances.

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