Proposed legislation calls for national standard for divulging personal info breaches; Indiana hospitals earn $135M through Meaningful Use;

> The Kentucky Health Information Exchange, St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood, Ky., and HealthBridge achieved a successful secure exchange of patient information, according to a HealthBridge announcement this week. KHIE now can send and receive patient records from St. Elizabeth Healthcare facilities to other providers in the health information exchange. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is funding the connectivity through the State Health Information Exchange Program and the Beacon Community Program. Announcement

> A bill introduced to Congress last week by five Republican senators looks to set a national standard for how companies would inform individuals about personal information security breaches, according to an article in The Hill. The bill (S. 3333) fails to set an actual timetable for such divulgences, only calling for them to occur "without unreasonable delay." Personal information cited by the legislation includes Social Security and driver's license numbers, as well as credit or debit card numbers. Failure to divulge of a breach carries a $500,000 maximum fine. Article

> Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services will pay the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services $1.7 million for a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), HHS announced this week. According to an HHS Office for Civil Rights report, a USB hard drive containing electronic protected health information was stolen out of a DHSS employee's car. What's more, the DHSS failed to complete a risk analysis and security training for its employees, and did not have a "adequate policy" in place to protect the stored information. The breach took place in October 2009, and affected 501 people, according to an article in GovInfoSecurity. Announcement

> Since January 2011, the Meaningful Use electronic health record incentive program has paid more than $135 million to more than 2,000 hospitals in Indiana, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports. Indiana University Health alone received roughly $24 million from the program for 2011, while Community Health Network earned $12.6 million for 2011. Article

And Finally… If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'. Article


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