Hospital waits 15 months to report data breach; Centralized health insurance claims database project criticized as too risky;

News From Around the Web

> Samaritan Hospital in Troy, N.Y., just today notified the public that protected patient health information in electronic medical records may have been improperly accessed by a nursing staff member at Rensselaer County Jail. The hosptial learned of the breach in November 2011, Healthcare IT News reports. Elmer Streeter, director of communications at St. Peter's Health Partners, Samaritan's parent system, told Healthcare IT News that patients still have not been individually notified, though, but expects that letters will go out next week. Article

> Deven McGraw, director of the Health Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, calls for the Obama administration to take a more decentralized approach in creating a database of individuals' health insurance claims in a commentary recently published to The Hill's "Congress Blog." McGraw calls duplicating sensitive data and storing it in one location "unnecessary," and adds that doing so "increases the risk and severity of data breaches." Commentary

Provider News

> A Georgia hospital alleging Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia owes it more than $22 million in underpayments has filed suit against the insurer to recover the money. The hospital claims it is owed, among other payments, $1.19 million for cardiac catheterizations since 2011 and $2.24 million for healthy babies born since December 2009. Article

> Despite the push toward patient-centered care, hospital management fails to actively engage physicians and nurses in enhancing patient experience, according to new research, ultimately hurting patient satisfaction scores. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found only 9.2 percent of surveyed clinicians said their organizations have a structured plan to improve patient satisfaction, according to a study in the March issue of British Medical Journal Quality and Safety. Article

Payer News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has become the latest big-name Republican governor to amend his stance on the reform law's Medicaid expansion, agreeing last week to accept federal dollars to open the program to more state residents. But despite falling in line with most of his Democratic counterparts, Christie stressed that his decision doesn't mean he has completely reversed his opinion of the reform law overall. Article

And Finally... Is standing really that bad? Article

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