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September 10, 2014

HIMSS Privacy and Security Forum: Managing Social Media While Protecting Privacy and Security

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I spoke at this week's HIMSS Privacy and Security Forum in Boston on the privacy and security issues surrounding the use of social media by health care organization workforce members. My slides and a few tweets are here for your viewing pleasure, after the jump.

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September 09, 2014

OCR Audits: The Skinny

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.

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August 27, 2014

Health Care Conferences This Fall

Friendship Pins No 89 David HarlowYour faithful HealthBlawger will be out and about at a number of conferences and events this fall, speaking, moderating . . . and immoderately disrupting.

I hope to see you at one or more of these. See descriptions below for links to registration.

Keep an eye out for "Friendship Pins" -- my jacket from The Walking Gallery, pictured here -- and I will be in or near it.

If you are organizing a conference a little further down the road, please consider including me as a keynote speaker or otherwise. We should talk.

Here's the rundown:

HIMSS Privacy & Security Forum

September 8-9, 2014, Boston, MA

I'll be one of the general session speakers: Keeping Your Edge: Managing Social Media While Protecting Privacy & Security.

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August 22, 2014

Massive data breach. Time for sports analogies?

File3091346979128In 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.

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August 11, 2014

Practice Pointers in the Wake of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Privacy Settlement

An OB/GYN at Johns Hopkins was fired last year after a colleague reported her suspicions about a "pen-like device" that was always around his neck, and that turned out to be a camera. He had secretly photographed 7,000 patients over ten years while conducting pelvic exams. Ten days later he committed suicide. Last month, the hospital agreed to settle the class action lawsuit brought by patients whose privacy had been violated for $190 million.

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August 07, 2014

Solving Sovaldi: David Harlow Talks Value-Based Payment with Cyndy Nayer

6793824321_398d881757_mWe 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.

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August 04, 2014

A Sunday bike ride with 5700 of my closest friends

Pmc-badgeI 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).

Check out the Storify of my #PMC2014 ride after the jump.

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July 29, 2014

Please Sponsor My Ride in the 2014 Pan Mass Challenge

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.

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July 22, 2014

FDA Social Media Guidance - Hangout on Air

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Last month, the FDA released draft guidance on social media and internet platforms with character space limitations and a separate draft guidance for correcting misinformation posted online. Some of us had been waiting for these guidelines for five years or more.

I discussed these guidance documents with Kathi Browne in a Google+ Hangout on Air:

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July 17, 2014

Health Information Exchange: Meaningful Consent

ME071014 Pg 47Health 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.

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