Hospitals uniquely vulnerable to ransomware; ONC launches EHR-lab early adopter program;

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> Hospitals' increased reliance on electronic health records is a major reason why they have become so vulnerable to ransomware and other cyberattacks, according to an article in the Washington Post. Data in EHRs and health IT is uniquely vulnerable because hospitals run different equipment on different software, so they can't necessarily apply standard security practices like regular updates for fear of breaking connections between systems. Article   

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has announced the launch of the Labs US Realm Early Adopters program. The program is intended to engage in early adopter implementation guidances between EHRs and lab systems. Website

> The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is seeking grant proposals to generate new knowledge on EHR and health IT safety. The agency is specifically interested in work on the design, implementation, usability and safe use of health IT by all users. Notice    

Health Finance News

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has introduced a new program that would provide skilled nursing facilities with extra payments in order to help prevent their patients from being admitted and readmitted to acute care hospitals. Article

Health Insurance News   

> If the remaining states expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, it could greatly expand Americans' access to behavioral healthcare, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS estimates that 1.9 million uninsured people have substance abuse or mental illness conditions that require treatment and would qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but live in states that have not expanded the program. Article

> As more employers turn to self-funded health insurance plans for flexibility and cost control, health insurance companies are tweaking their business models to adjust. Self-funded plans are particularly popular among larger employers. Article

And Finally... I'll stick to clean T-shirts, thank you. Article