MACRA: Pick Your Own Pace… Just Do It Quickly!
April 17, 2017
MACRA: Pick Your Own Pace… Just Do It Quickly!

The majority of providers thought they could breathe easy after the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA, legislation was finalized last October. Their prayers had been answered; quality reporting programs had been eliminated and the burden of reporting data at the risk of a hefty penalty had been lifted… or so they thought. Once the praise and excitement settled, providers realized these programs weren’t going away at all they were just being rebranded. There is no doubt the new Quality Payment Program established by MACRA has improved, but little has been done to truly ease the reporting burden thrust upon our providers. Until that is, our friends at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Pick Your Pace option for those participating under MIPS in 2017.

Categories: Legislation
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Ransomware Incidents may be a Reportable HIPAA Breach
November 17, 2016
Ransomware Incidents May Be a Reportable HIPAA Breach

Ransomware is a sophisticated piece of malware designed to block access to user files.  In some cases, the malware encrypts data and demands a ransom, while in others data may be destroyed or transferred to another location (exfiltrated). The earliest record of ransomware dates back to 1987 when floppy disks were used to infect systems and demand a $189 payment to an offshore post office box. The introduction of electronic payment and evolution of encryption technology have enabled the proliferation of this epidemic. New strains are discovered at an alarming rate making them more difficult to defend against. 

Ransomware finds its way onto systems by users visiting untrusted sites or launching attachments received in email. Years ago, these emails were more easily spotted due to grammatical errors and oddly formatted graphics. Today’s polished cyber criminals make it very difficult to distinguish their emails from those from legitimate sources. Equally concerning is the rate ransomware spreads once able to infect a system. In most cases the malware will begin encrypting files within a few minutes of infection. Once the system is compromised, the only options are restoring data from backups or paying the ransom. 

Categories: Legislation
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What is the Price to be Meaningful Use Compliant?
October 15, 2015
What is the Price to be Meaningful Use Compliant?

What is the price to be Meaningful Use Compliant?

No, I am not talking about actual numbers in dollars and cents, I am referring to the opportunity cost EHR vendors are being forced to pay. These federal regulations may be costing the healthcare industry EHR innovation. 

Categories: Legislation
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Information Blocking: Are you the Victim… or the Culprit?
October 7, 2015
Information Blocking: Are you the Victim… or the Culprit?

Information Blocking truly is the latest and greatest stressor in the healthcare industry after ONC shined a spotlight on it by publishing a report to Congress earlier year and the recently approved 21st Century Cures act makes it a federal offense punishable by fines. Cue healthcare frenzy. But what is it? Who is committing it? And who is falling victim to it? No one seems to be providing concrete answers to these crucial questions; all we know is Congress is angry, providers are angry, and unknowing patients should be angry.

Categories: Latest News,Legislation
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