Archive | Health Information Technology

Costly Software License Audits Could Affect IT Partnerships

Hospitals, health systems and other large users of Microsoft, Adobe and similar software are experiencing increased license auditing.  Because of the dynamic nature of the IT environment, most users operate in varying degrees of compliance with their license agreements.  In the event of an audit, the cost of compliance, known or unknown, can be significant and turn traditional partnerships into adversarial relationships.  Users may mistakenly produce records with good intentions that ultimately complicate the ability to efficiently resolve license compliance issues.  When faced with an audit, it is important to understand the role of each party (licensor, auditor, licensee and reseller) and their respective financial interest in resolving any compliance issue.  Continue Reading →

Congress Calls for Comments on Federal Legislative Changes Necessary to Encourage the Use of Telehealth Technology

On May 1, 2014, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health announced it is seeking input and feedback on federal legislation that would encourage the deployment and adoption of telehealth technology.  The announcement was made in conjunction with a hearing, “Telehealth to Digital Medicine: How 21st Century Technology Can Benefit Patients,” led by Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ).  A transcript of the hearing can be found here.  The deadline for submissions is June 16, 2014. Continue Reading →

Impacts of Heartbleed Exploit Come to Light

Following recent news about the Heartbleed exploit, CloudFlare, a San Francisco-based security services company, challenged hackers to use Heartbleed to get private encryption keys that would unlock secure data. It reported multiple winners to its challenge. By obtaining the private key for an SSL/TLS certificate, an attacker could set up a fake website that passes the security verification. They could also decrypt traffic passing between a client and a server, known as a man-in-the-middle attack, or possibly unscramble encrypted communications they’ve collected in the past. Continue Reading →

Federal Regulators Accepting Comments on Health IT Regulatory Framework

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) are accepting comments on their recently issued final FDASIA Health IT Report, entitled Proposed Strategy and Recommendations for a Risk-Based Framework.  Continue Reading →

FDASIA Report Tasks FDA with Clarifying Its Approach to Health IT

On April 3, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released their long-awaited final report on health information technology (“Health IT”), entitled Proposed Strategy and Recommendations for a Risk-Based Framework. According to the report, the degree of oversight for Health IT should be based on the risk presented by a product’s functionality, which for regulatory framework purposes was delineated by the agencies into three categories: Administrative, Health Management and Medical Device. Continue Reading →

Report Suggests For-Profit Hospices Utilize Longer Periods of Service

Earlier this week, McKnight’s reported on a study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York relating to the length of stay at for-profit versus nonprofit hospice providers.  This study showed that, of the 600 Medicare certified hospices nationwide, for-profit hospices were more likely to have patients with a longer expected stay than nonprofit hospices.   Continue Reading →

Draft Recommendations for Meaningful Use Stage 3 Released

The Meaningful Use Workgroup provided its recommendations on Meaningful Use Stage 3 to the Health IT Policy Committee on February 4.  Stage 3 would focus on improving outcomes.  Further discussion of the recommendations will be held on February 14.  The proposed timeline sets proposed rulemaking for fall 2014 and final rulemaking for the first half of 2015.  Stage 3 would be effective as of 2017.  To see the draft recommendations, click hereContinue Reading →

CMS Extends Meaningful Use Attestation Deadline for Eligible Professionals

CMS announced last week that it is extending the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) Incentive Program 2013 reporting year from 11:59 PM ET on February 28, 2014 to 11:59 PM ET March 31, 2014.  This extension will allow more time for eligible professionals to submit their meaningful use data and receive an incentive payment for the 2013 program year as well as avoid the 2015 payment adjustment.  Continue Reading →

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