SamSam Ransomware attacks Allscripts- What You Should Know

February 14th, 2018

Another strain of ransomware has wreaked its havoc on the healthcare industry. This time its victims include over 45,000 medical practices and 180,000 physicians that are clients of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. Allscripts is a publicly traded American company that provides physician practices, hospitals, and other healthcare providers with practice management and electronic health record technology.

Top Health Technology Patient Safety Hazards for 2018

January 25th, 2018

ECRI Institute, a non-profit research organization, recently released its annual Top 10 List of Health Technology Hazards for 2018. The purpose of this report is to inform healthcare facilities about the important safety issues involving the use of health technology and bring attention to potential sources of danger.

Are Physician’s Becoming More Comfortable with Value Based-Payment?

January 5th, 2018

With the transition to “value-based care” well underway and healthcare’s shift from volume-based to value-based payment (VBP), significant barriers still remain for many providers while others have become more comfortable with VBP participation.

What You Need to Know about the Final MACRA Rule for 2018

December 15th, 2017

Earlier this month, CMS delivered its final rule on the Quality Payment Program, starting January 1st, 2018. The following are eight critical points from the Final Rule that you should be aware of:

The Prevalence of Sharing Passwords

November 29th, 2017

Data breaches and ransomware attacks are among some of the top challenges that healthcare organizations face today. These issues can lead to extensive damage affecting entire organizations. Whether it is the breach of a patient’s privacy or the disruption of operations across an entire system, just one negative event has the potential to destroy a hospital’s reputation.

Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers

November 6th, 2017

The US Consumer Product and Safety Commission is recalling nearly 40 million Kidde-brand fire extinguishers because they may not work in an emergency. The fire extinguishers have been connected to one death, 16 injuries, 391 reports of failure to work properly, and 91 reports of property damage.

How Health Literacy Affects Patient Safety

October 25th, 2017

More than 77 million individuals in the United States have limited health literacy skills and will likely encounter challenges interpreting and acting upon health information. (2) According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, nine out of ten adults may not have the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease.

Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns in 2017

October 9th, 2017

Providing safe and efficient care is a priority for most healthcare organizations. One key component to successfully doing so involves being proactive in preventing issues that may endanger or be unsafe for patients. Below is a list of top patient safety concerns for healthcare organizations in 2017.

New Proposed Rule for Quality Payment Program 2018

September 28th, 2017

As the Quality Payment Program approaches its second year in 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are proposing several changes and updates in an effort to improve patient outcomes, increase coordination of patient care, reduce the burden on small and rural practices, while increasing participation and program flexibility. The goal is to keep what is working with the program and use clinician feedback to improve policies.

10 Best Practices for HIPAA Compliance

August 31st, 2017

A failure to understand HIPAA requirements can be a very costly mistake, as CardioNet learned just a couple months ago. In April, the wireless health services provider agreed to a settlement of $2.5 million for a potential noncompliance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. (1) The violation occurred when a company laptop containing the ePHI of 1,391 individuals was stolen from an employee’s vehicle parked outside their home.

Five Things to Know about the Quality Payment Program Deadline on October 2, 2017

August 10th, 2017

Just a reminder that all eligible healthcare providers that choose to participate in the Quality Payment Program have until October 2, 2017, to begin collecting performance data. All performance data must be submitted by March 31, 2018. For those providers who have not yet decided if they will participate the following are five things to know:

The Importance of Healthcare Compliance Programs

July 26th, 2017

Compliance and ethics are not just legal requirements in healthcare; they are also critical components to safe, quality patient care. Regardless, the size or specialty of the practice or facility, all medical organizations face healthcare compliance concerns.

Is Nursing Engagement the Key to Reducing Medical Errors?

July 7th, 2017

Medical errors are now the third highest cause of death, accounting for more than 250,000 deaths per year in the US. (1) Second only to heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (3) Many believe this estimate is too low and the true number of deaths is around 400,000 per year (2).

World’s Largest Cyber-Attack

June 20th, 2017

Recently the world’s largest cyber-attack unleashed its havoc across 150 countries crippling more than 300,000 victims and hundreds of organizations worldwide. Hospitals, universities, government offices, and large business were among those affected, including sixteen NHS hospitals in the UK. Many of them had to cancel surgeries, appointments, and send patients elsewhere due to the fallout.

Tips for MACRA Success

June 6th, 2017

Despite the change in administration, experts say The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is here to stay and its full speed ahead. The MACRA law replaces the previous fee-for-service Medicare payment structure with a value-based pay-for-performance program built on measures of quality and efficiency. The legislation affects all healthcare providers that care for at least 100 Medicare patients or bill more than $30,000 a year. The shift from volume to value-based payment will either reward or penalize providers based upon their performance.

The Real Cost of a Data Breach

May 24th, 2017

Healthcare data breaches are costing the U.S. healthcare industry nearly $6.2 billion each year. (2) In fact, healthcare has the highest cost per breached record of any other industry. Why?

Transparency and Patient Safety

May 1st, 2017

Transparency is considered an essential element to improving the quality of health care. Without transparency, patients cannot make informed decisions. Without transparency, it is not possible to have a culture of safety.

$5.5 Million Breach Settlement: Second Largest Fine to Date

April 17th, 2017

Last month, Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) agreed to implement a comprehensive corrective action plan and pay a 5.5-million-dollar settlement for the breach of protected health information (PHI) that affected over 100,000 individuals. This is the second largest fine against a covered entity to date, sending a strong message that audit controls will be a key focus for the future. (1)

HIPAA Audits of Covered Entities and Business Associates

April 3rd, 2017

In August, Advocate Health Care Network agreed to pay a $5.55 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR), for multiple HIPAA violations. In addition, HHS also recently announced a $650,000 resolution settlement against the Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Tips for Reducing Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens and Other Infectious Diseases

February 22nd, 2017

Healthcare workers are often at risk for exposure to hazards such as bloodborne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and infectious diseases. The number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in healthcare workers is among the highest of any industry. Though it is impossible to prevent all exposures to hazards, with the proper safety precautions healthcare workers can help to reduce the risk.

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