Showing posts with label CMS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CMS. Show all posts

Friday, March 7, 2014

EHR Incentives Exceed $22.5B?

Based on the latest projections by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)EHR (electronic health record) incentive payments may exceed the current $22.5 billion estimated payout.

The incentive program, formed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has funded 89% of hospitals and 65% of physicians.

"To date, 4,477 hospitals of 5,011 total eligible ones have received more than $13.8 billion in payments under the Medicare or Medicaid programs, or both."
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The growing use of EHRs has also made identity theft of patients' personal and medical information easier. Healthcare organizations can proactively detect identity theft by utilizing low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics services.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - www.cms.gov, 03/07/2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hospital's Second Data Breach in 4 Months

A Vermont hospital received a regulatory citation after an unannounced visit by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) found that two employees had inappropriately accessed patient records. This was the second time in 4 months this hospital has had a breach of patients' data.

"Medical information from two patients' records was accessed by two people who did not have the need to know, they were not involved in the individuals' direct care."
- Fran Keeler, Vermont Division of Licensing and Protection
This breach has raised concerns about patient privacy among local residents, one man said "You have to know your records are safe. People shouldn't be looking at records that they're not entitled to look at."

While the hospital says "our corrective action is the implementation of a system that will do random audits to assure compliance for our patient care records" a better approach is an ongoing audit of all workers accesses of patient records, easily accomplished with low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics services.

Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) North Country Hospital Suffers Second Data Breach in 4 Months - www.BeckersHospitalReview, 01/31/2014

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

OIG: EHR Audits Not Used to Full Extent

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that nearly all of the 800 hospitals surveyed in late 2012 had federally recommended electronic medical record (EHR) audit functions in place, but "may not be using them to their full extent."

Alarmingly, the OIG found that 44 percent of hospitals can delete audit logs. Four EHR vendors surveyed said audit logs cannot be disabled in their systems, but one noted a programmer could disable them. The OIG also said EHRs poorly designed or used inappropriately can result in poor data quality or fraud."

"Hospitals 'may not be using recommended EHR audit functions to their full extent' and '44% can delete logs'."
- Office of the Inspector General
The OIG recommended "audit logs be operational whenever EHR technology is available for updates or viewing," and "ONC and CMS develop a comprehensive plan to address fraud problems in EHRs."

Tampering with logs can easily and rapidly be determined by low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics services.

Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) OIG takes hospitals to task on EHR use - www.HealthcareITnews.com, 12/16/2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

CMS: $17B in EHR Incentives

The federal government’s Medicare and Medicaid electronic medical record (EHR) incentive program has paid out almost $17 billion to date.

By the October, more than 430,000 eligible hospitals and professionals have achieved meaningful use, with 93 percent of eligible hospitals and 80 percent of eligible professionals registered for the program.

"93 percent of eligible hospitals and 80 percent of eligible professionals registered for the program." - Government Health IT
Protecting the privacy of health information is among the requirements for meaningful use. This can be fulfilled with proactive detection of data breaches utilizing low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics services.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) CMS Has Paid Nearly $17B in EHR Meaningful Use Payments -www.iHealthBeat.org, 12/5/2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

CMS: $16.5B in EHR Incentive Payments

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that as of September 2013 it had disbursed $16.5 billion in electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments to 325,124 eligible hospitals and medical professionals participating in the meaningful use program.

CMS Health Insurance Specialist Robert Anthony said they expect an "upward trend" in payments throughout December 2013 and January 2014.

"CMS had disbursed $16.5 billion in electronic health record incentive payments to 325,124 eligible hospitals and medical professionals participating in the meaningful use program."
- Clinical Innovation & Technology
The process of qualifying for meaningful use incentive payments includes a risk assessment and complying with privacy and security requirements. Organizations can comply with these requirements with low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics for user access compliance as well as proactive privacy breach detection.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) CMS Paid $16.5B in EHR Incentive Payments Through September - www.iHealthBeat.org, 11/7/2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CMS Educating Seniors on Healthcare Fraud

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) employs consumer education and engagement to fight identity theft and other healthcare related fraud against seniors.

The CMS's Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program recruits and trains retired professionals and other seniors about healthcare fraud prevention, identification, and reporting. These SMP volunteers educate their communities' Medicaid/Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and family members about fraud, as well as about billing errors and how to detect and report such instances.

"In 2010, more than $4 billion in fraudulent claims were returned to government agencies thanks to SMP activities." - Fraud Avengers, August 2013 Newsletter
Although SMP began in 1997, efforts have increased under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The are now 5,600 volunteers nationwide and CMS is raising awareness with media outreach and consumer engagement programs.SMP volunteers also help to identify patterns of fraud and report those by working in close partnership with CMS and the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Healthcare organizations are also contributing to decreasing fraud by utilizing low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics to detect theft of medical identity data.

Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Senior Healthcare Fraud - Protecting Fellow Seniors - FraudAvengers.org, August, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tavenner, at CMS: EHRs Transforming Healthcare

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Marilyn Tavenner says "Electronic health records (EHRs) are transforming relationships between patients and their health care providers. EHRs improve care coordination,...and help patients take more control of their health and result in better overall health outcomes."

Eighty percent of eligible hospitals and more than 50 percent of eligible professionals have adopted EHRs and received meaningful use incentive payments from Medicare or Medicaid.

"More patients than ever before are seeing the benefits of their providers using electronic health records to help better coordinate and manage their care."
- Farzad Mostashari, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
As we noted yesterday the deployment of EHRs makes patient data more exposed to inappropriate and criminal access. The CMS data shows that 4.6 million patients received an electronic copy of their health information from their EHR since 2011. Increasingly, patients are requesting an accounting of disclosures - a report of everyone who has accessed their medical record.

Low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics are being utilized by healthcare organizations to proactively detect privacy data breaches as well as provide patients with an accounting of disclosures.

Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) EHRs 'transforming' care, says Tavenner - www.iHealthCareITnews.com, 07/17/2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

$15.5B in EHR Incentives

The 2009 federal economic stimulus package allowed health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health record systems (EHRs) to qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Under this program more than $6.3 billion has been paid to physicians and other eligible professionals who demonstrated meaningful use as of June 2013. In addition the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports eligible hospitals have received $9.2 billion in incentives.

"In total, 58% of eligible professionals and 80% of eligible hospitals have received incentive payments totaling $15.5 billion since the meaningful use program launched in 2011." - Modern Healthcare
Currently, only 11% of eligible hospitals and about 24% of eligible professionals have not yet registered for the meaningful use program.

With the deployment of EHRs to achieve meaningful use healthcare organizations are more exposed to inappropriate and criminal access to patient data. To proactively detect such access, low-cost on-demand SaaS analytics are available.

Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Majority of Eligible Providers Have Received EHR Incentive Payments - www.iHealthBeat.org,07/31/2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

CMS: EHR Use Continues to Increase

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released new data showing electronic health record systems (EHRs) are increasing being used by providers to improve care management and to share more information with patients.

Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT, said the data "show that health care professionals are not only adopting [EHRs] rapidly, they're also using them to improve care."

"Health care professionals are not only adopting [EHRs] rapidly, they're also using them to improve care."
- Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments. According to the CMS, to date $15.5 billion has been paid to 310,000 providers for implementing EHRs.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) CMS Releases New EHR Data, Federal Officials Tout Progress - www.iHealthbeat.org, 07/17/2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

EHR Incentives $14.6 Billion

According to Robert Anthony, deputy director of the HIT Initiative Group at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of E-Health Standards and Services, the federal government had paid $14.6 billion in EHR incentives by the end of April 2013.
"More than 77 percent of hospitals have been paid under the program, and registration for eligible providers continues at 75 percent. Three out of every four eligible hospitals have made a financial commitment to an electronic health record."
- Healthcare IT News
Anthony reported that the data through April show that 194,080 providers and 2,977 hospitals are meaningful users of EHRs.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) $14.6 Billion in MU Incentives Paid - www.HealthcareITnews.com, 06/06/2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

CMS: Audit 1 in 20 Meaningful Use Attesters

CMS plans on auditing 1 in 20 for compliance with the meaningful use program requirements.

While CMS has notified some health organizations about adverse findings, the agency is in the early stages of its auditing efforts. A few with adverse audit notices are appealing and some are facing investigation for possible fraud.

"CMS aims to audit about 5% of all meaningful use program participants... ."
- Robert Anthony, Deputy Director, CMS Health IT Initiatives Group
To date the most frequent problems found in audits are:
  • Noncompliance with the requirement that health care providers conduct a data security risk assessment, which also is a requirement under HIPAA; and
  • A lack of adequate documentation to support responses to some of the "yes or no" meaningful use requirements, such as whether an EHR system has been tested for the ability to exchange clinical data
To address data security risk assessment requirements there are now on-demand SaaS privacy breach detection and access compliance services available.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) One in 20 Meaningful Use Attesters To Face Audits, Official Says - ihealthbeat.org, 04/23/2013

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HIMSS Leadership Survey on Privacy and Security

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society published their 23rd Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey. I have extracted some of the highpoints from a security and privacy perspective.
"Compliance with HIPAA security regulations and CMS security audits were their top concerns with regard to security at their organizations." - 23rd HIMSS Leadership Survey
Respondents were somewhat less likely to identify funding/financial support for the security process as a barrier than they were in the past. While selected by 13 percent of respondents in 2012, 17 percent of respondents selected this same issue in 2011.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) 23rd Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey - HIMSS, February 21, 2012

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