D'Arcy Gue

Unprotected PHI, ICD-10 Webcast Series, Increased Staff Demands

August 22, 2014

Healthcare Industry, HIPAA & Security, ICD-10 2 Minute Read

Your hospital’s PHI is being targeted by hackers — the FBI says so.

It seems that breaches are happening on a weekly basis. The latest security breach at Community Health Systems resulted in the theft of millions of patient health records. It’s obvious that health care providers need to take control of their data. The situation has become so serious that the FBI is getting involved.

“The FBI has observed malicious actors targeting healthcare related systems, perhaps for the purpose of obtaining Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) and/or Personally Identifiable Information (PII),” the agency said in a “Flash” alert obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

In April, the FBI warned the health care sector that they were a target for hackers because of their vulnerability, compared to other industries. Health care records are historically, poorly protected, and malicious hackers know it. It’s time for the industry to figure out a solution and begin to truly protect PHI.

CMS releases first ICD-10 webcast focused on small practices.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its first webcast in an ongoing series dubbed the “Road to 10.” The series is available on-demand and is focused on assisting small physician practices in the move to ICD-10.

The initial presentation provides details about the tools CMS is offering small practices. According to the CMS announcement, there will be five more presentations with guidance and preparation tools to assist providers in meeting the October 1, 2015 deadline.

More people seeking care demands increased staff support.

The increased access to health care coverage for individuals as a result of the Affordable Care Act has impacted the demand for health care staff. We’ve discussed the immense growth of the health care industry in previous posts, but primarily focused on the IT side. The latest article in Modern Healthcare is focused on the demand for clinicians and how it is impacting hospital revenue.

Earnings reports for not-for-profit systems in the first half of 2014 show that providers are seeing rising salary and benefit expenses cut into revenue gains, leading to smaller operating surpluses. Salaries are increasing because demand for highly skilled healthcare workers is outstripping supply. 

Many hospitals are beginning to strategically plan for the influx of health care needs. Coverage of these strategies and the organizations implementing them can be found at Modern Healthcare. 

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