Linda Sanches, Senior Advisor, Health Information Privacy, at OCR, DHHS, spoke with Tom Sullivan (@GovHITeditor) at the HIMSS Media #HITprivacy and security conference in Boston today (September 9, 2014) about OCR HIPAA compliance audits. See the Storify after the jump.
In reading an account of the recent attack on Community Health Systems that netted the bad guys 4.5 million patient records and earned CHS a prominent spot on the Wall of Shame, I was struck by the notion put across in the article that all we have to do is work harder to patch vulnerabilities, that with a better defense we can win the game against a skilled quarterback.
I think that we have to come to terms with the notion that privacy is a thing of the past, and that it is not a question of if, but a question of when, any particular system may be hacked. As in the case of the Heartbleed exploit, a back door may be propped open for years before anyone notices, and some exploits may leave no fingerprints.
We have been deluged with stories about the $100-a-pill medication for Hepatitis C. Is it really worth $87,000? (Well, it's cheaper than a $600,000 liver transplant.) I had the opportunity to speak with Cyndy Nayer, of the Center of Health Engagement, about the issues surrounding this drug and its use, value-based approaches to payment, and the question of whether we are able to solve this problem in our current environment at all.
I rode in the Pan Mass Challenge this past weekend, and surprised myself by riding faster than expected. I did not ride Saturday (it rained all day; my injury and lack of training really paid off ...), but Sunday was a wonderfully cool day for a ride with just a few sprinkles. The weather and the adrenaline helped me out. Thank you to everyone who has supported my ride and the Pan Mass Challenge. We're working to raise $40 million this year to add to the $414 million raised to date by the PMC for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund. There is still time to whip out your credit card (or those appreciated securities) and join in -- on my PMC profile (offer ends October 1).
Well, folks, it’s that time again: The Pan Mass Challenge is coming up this weekend -- the first weekend of August, as always -- and this will be my eleventh year as part of the PMC. Every year, riders along the 2-day, 200-mile route are part of a village on wheels that comes together to fight cancer. The 5000+ riders, and the volunteer bike mechanics, massage therapists, folks who prepare and serve food and drink, folks who come out in droves to cheer us on, and say “Thanks for riding,” all join together in support of a cause. We need your help to support this cause -- the Jimmy Fund at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Thanks in large part to the generosity of PMC corporate sponsors, 100% of every dollar you donate goes straight to the Dana Farber – no overhead comes out of your donation, so it can go straight to work supporting the Dana Farber’s cancer research and patient care missions.
Health information exchange is one arrow in the quiver that may lead to promised improvement in the coordination, efficiency and effectiveness of health care services based on the sharing of data contained in individual patients' electronic health records.
An article in the current issue of Medical Economics examines some of the technical, legal and ethical issues around patient consent to the collection and transmission of protected health information by health information exchanges.
1. Most people are unaware that they are leaving their personal data behind and that some of this information is not protected by HIPAA. Data brokers are able to build dossiers on individuals to sell to marketers, while consumers lack recourse to obtain or correct their information.
2. Clinical researchers, health plans, and others use the information to enhance individuals' health as well as to benefit public health. Larger and speedier clinical trials are made possible by the quantity of data available.
3. Different types of information — such as historical claims data and consumer-generated data — can be combined and used for statistical modeling for health or financial risk-profiling. Such information is purchased by hedge funds, hospitals, large provider networks, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and others.