VA knowingly transmitted EHR data over unencrypted network; Legislation would let HHS block unreasonable premium increases;

News From Around the Web

> A report released this week by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General outlines how the VA has been transmitting sensitive data, including electronic health records, over an unencrypted telecommunications carrier network. According to the report's authors, the practice was "typical." Report (.pdf)

Health Insurance News

> Newly proposed legislation would establish a federal rate review to allow the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to block unreasonable rate increases, reported The Hill's Healthwatch. HHS can only declare rate hikes unreasonable, but can't actually prevent insurers from implementing them. Article

Provider News

> Another 20 groups and organizations have joined the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced yesterday. Participants in the five-year program sign two-year renewable agreements with CMS to effectively manage Medicare patients' transitions between care settings and improve quality of care. Up to $500 million in funding is available over the life of the program. Article

> Nearly half of long-term care hospitals (LTCH) located with acute-care hospitals or other related facilities haven't reported their co-location to the federal government, leaving Medicare vulnerable to overpayment, finds a new study from the Office of the Inspector General. The OIG looked at 211 co-located LTCHs and found 97 that had not reported their status as required to Medicare contractors, and 98 for which contractors had co-location information. Article

And Finally... That must have been one heck of a transcription error. Article

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Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry.