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EHNAC Executive Director Addresses Recent Cyberattacks and the Implications to Healthcare

FARMINGTON, Conn. – October 31, 2017 – The Equifax data security breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans was just one story in a year full of hackers making headlines as they continue to expose the security vulnerabilities of some of our nation’s most trusted financial and healthcare institutions. With the ramifications of these cyberattacks weighing heavily on the minds of many healthcare industry stakeholders, Lee Barrett, executive director of the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and a member of the HHS Cybersecurity Task Force, tackled several questions to better help the industry both understand and strengthen its defense against these attacks.

Q. What can the healthcare industry learn from the Equifax breach and other cyberattacks like the ones that affected the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Big Four Accounting Firm Deloitte?

Barrett: The Equifax breach impacted more than 143M Americans as a trove of information was breached. It’s no surprise that 2 out of 3 Americans are affected by a breach or cyberattack. That’s an increase from 1 and 3 Americans in years past. In 2017 alone, the top three health data breaches have impacted 1.5 million people. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reported a record number of HIPAA settlements and fines this year as well. These headline-making data breaches are a vivid reminder that it’s clearly not a matter of if a breach can happen but when.

Hospitals and healthcare systems now need to keep their focus on strategies and tactics to mitigate risk and ensure business continuity once a cyberattack occurs. Today’s cybercriminal has evolved into a dangerous entity, capable of bringing an organization’s enterprise and  business operation to a halt, compounded by long-term financial and reputational hardships – the WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks from earlier this year are clear examples of the impact this can have on healthcare. On average, it costs a healthcare organization more than $2.2 million and its business associates more than $1 million for a data breach. Is it worth risking that by taking an “it-can’t-happen-to-us” attitude?

Q. What can healthcare organizations do to adjust to the continuously shifting cybercrime landscape and reduce their risks of becoming another statistic on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) website due to breach or attack?

Barrett: Protecting patient data should be a top priority for all healthcare stakeholders. Every organization handling protected health information (PHI) needs to conduct a risk assessment and asset inventory of their organization and map the data flow within their enterprise in order to determine their risk in the event of a breach or cyberattack. Hospitals and healthcare systems need to build security frameworks and risk sharing into their infrastructure by implementing risk-mitigation strategies, preparedness planning, as well as adhering to the regulations created by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

But it’s not just the security of internal systems that are of concern in this increasingly interconnected healthcare ecosystem. The security and IT risk management protocols of business associates and other vendors and partners must also be ready for the potential negative consequences of an incident, breach or attack as their risk mitigation preparedness can impact a health system’s operations. The failure to do so can bring devastating consequences. At a bare minimum, a system should have sufficient rigor and meet industry standards for adhering to HIPAA requirements, mitigating cybersecurity risks, and assuring that all portal and exchange connection points are secured.

Q. As we look ahead to 2018, what areas should healthcare leaders take a hard look at in terms of enhancing their cybersecurity frameworks?

Barrett: The Internet of Things (IoT) has undoubtedly helped healthcare organizations deliver high-quality, more patient-centric and affordable care. However, by introducing these various internet-connected devices into a healthcare environment, you’ve exponentially increased the level of connection points, which in turn raises the level of exposure and heightens risk of compromise or breach. As a result, hospitals and healthcare systems need to evaluate their medical devices and BYOD protocols within their security frameworks as they present a whole set of data security challenges. Cybercriminals can strike when hospital employees, through their cell phones or tablets, connect into an EMR system, informatics or data exchange, unintentionally or intentionally infecting the hospital’s enterprise infrastructure with malware. In fact, more than 1M healthcare apps are developed worldwide on an annual basis. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of those new applications go through a security type review before being launched to the consumer or other stakeholder.

Finally, think of the impact a cybercriminal could have if they were to control medical devices. Last year, Johnson & Johnson warned patients about a potential hacking risk to their insulin pumps. And just recently, we learned of a security risk in a Boston Scientific medical device  that communicates with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators. These are real instances of medical devices being compromised by the ever-evolving cybercriminal. Our industry needs to make protecting these devices and the patients they serve a priority in 2018. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has recently developed some medical device guidelines which are a start but we still have a significant delta to continue to develop further policies, procedures, controls and industry guidance.

About EHNAC

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, data registries, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, e-prescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators. The Commission is an authorized HITRUST CSF Assessor, making it the only organization with the ability to provide both EHNAC accreditation and HITRUST CSF certification.

EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit www.ehnac.org, contact info@ehnac.org, or follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

 

October 31, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

BaseHealth Raises $8.5 Million in Series C Funding

Company uses predictive analytics to uncover rising risk patients within a population

Sunnyvale, California: Oct. 18, 2017 – BaseHealth, the creator of the first predictive, evidence-based, and data-driven population health management solution, today announced that it has received an overall investment of $8.5 million, including $2.5 million from lead investor HBM Healthcare Investments (SIX HBMN), a listed healthcare investment company with net assets over $1 billion.

The investment will be used to further develop BaseHealth’s analytics engine, which is based on peer-reviewed medical literature, curated by physicians and scientists, and enhanced with laboratory, biometric, social, family history and behavioral data. BaseHealth supplements this with retrospective claims and ICD data. The data is then passed through the analytics engine, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to assess patient risk for 43 possible disease threats.

BaseHealth’s approach to population health and value-based care enables healthcare professionals to improve care and reduce the per capita cost of healthcare by identifying the rising unknown risk within their patient population, so they can intervene to both prevent diseases before they start and control them before it’s too late. The “Invisible Patient” is how BaseHealth refers to these individuals. With the right medical intervention at the right time, their healthcare trajectory can be improved.

“Healthcare systems have a lot of data and yet they still have a hard time finding these patients, making it hard to respond proactively to patient care needs,” said Jason Pyle, CEO, BaseHealth. “Our system enables healthcare professionals to assess the unknown risk that exists within their patient population and provide access and critical care needed to both improve our overall population’s health and improve the individual patient’s experience with the healthcare system.”

HBM Healthcare Investments has a track-record of over 100 biopharma and healthcare investments that have resulted in significant value creation by more than 50 trade sales and IPOs since inception.

“We look for companies that are at an advanced stage of development, that are closely tracked and actively guided on their strategic direction. We see a lot of potential in the BaseHealth model in addressing improvements in patient care and controlling costs in the healthcare system,” said Dr. Andreas Wicki, CEO, HBM Healthcare Investments.

About BaseHealth

BaseHealth is the comprehensive predictive analytics company for population health management. The company’s proprietary platform leverages machine learning to sift through millions of medical journals and patient records curated by scientists and physicians to offer healthcare providers the ability to identify patients with underlying risks for 43 chronic diseases and prevent costly treatments before they’re needed. At BaseHealth, we take the guesswork out of risk and population health management and put science in the driver’s seat.

BaseHealth was founded in 2011 by an interdisciplinary team of leading clinical geneticists, healthcare executives, software engineers, and physicians. Learn more at basehealth.com.

October 18, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Avizia Acquires Carena

Leading provider of system-wide telehealth platform now offers robust services; 
serves more than 1,300 US hospitals
 
Reston, Va. — OCTOBER 10, 2017 — Avizia, powering system-wide telehealth, today announced it has acquired Carena, a Seattle-based leading virtual care provider. The acquisition of Carena reinforces Avizia’s position as the largest and most comprehensive telehealth solutions partner for health systems nationwide. 
 
Avizia partners with providers to deploy and power system-wide telehealth strategies. With the acquisition of Carena, Avizia now offers a comprehensive and customizable telehealth platform which includes software, mobile applications, virtual care devices and a provider network. Founded in 2000, Carena designs and operates virtual clinics for health systems and provides access to care for more than 35 million consumers. As part of Avizia, Carena’s services offer health systems a customizable approach to virtual care delivery. 
 
“This acquisition combines two of the nation’s leading virtual care platforms,” says Mike Baird, CEO of Avizia. “With Carena’s select provider network, Avizia empowers hospitals with the most comprehensive, customizable and trusted telehealth solution available.”     
 
Avizia is backed by leading healthcare organizations like HealthQuest, Northwell Health and NewYork-Presbyterian, and has raised $20 million in funding since its founding in 2013. The company now powers telehealth programs at more than 25 percent of the nation’s hospitals. 
 
“The Carena team is proud to become a part of the Avizia telehealth platform, which is trusted by four out of the top five IDNs and connects the nation’s leading neurology, psychiatric and pediatric programs,” says Ralph Derrickson, president and CEO of Carena. He adds that, “our combined company partners with some of the most prestigious healthcare organizations in the country, including Catholic Health Initiatives, NewYork-Presbyterian, Northwell Health, Dignity Health and the Medical University of South Carolina.” 
 
Derrickson will transition into a leadership role with Avizia as senior vice president of corporate development. Avizia’s corporate headquarters will remain in Reston, Virginia. Carena’s Seattle-based office will be a strong part of Avizia’s nationwide recruitment and growth strategy. 
 
Avizia is a privately-held company and terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed. 
 
Learn more about Avizia’s approach to powering system-wide telehealth at www.avizia.com.
 
ABOUT AVIZIA 
Avizia partners with providers to deploy and power system-wide telehealth. To do this, Avizia combines a collaborative approach with a market-leading telehealth solutions suite that scales across the continuum of care. Trusted by four of the top five IDNs in the nation and 25 percent of US hospitals, Avizia empowers providers to deliver unparalleled access and clinical excellence to patients. Visit www.avizia.com.  
 
ABOUT CARENA
Carena designs and operates virtual clinics for health systems. Carena combines technology and new care delivery methods to provide healthcare for the way consumers live and work today. The company has offered on-demand care since 2000, informing its telemedicine solution with industry-leading expertise in clinical quality and consumer preferences. Today, Carena’s virtual care model and configurable technology platform make it possible for health systems to offer care to consumers anytime, anywhere as a natural extension of each system’s brand, mission, and service. Carena partners with more than 120 hospitals, offering virtual care access to over 35 million consumers.

October 11, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Pivot Point Consulting Launches Sixth Annual Healthcare IT Market Survey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (PRWEB) October 03, 2017 — The landscape of healthcare IT is constantly shifting. Whether changes in health system priorities arise from business concerns or federal regulation doesn’t matter for most employees—what does matter is whether their skill sets still have market value, and whether they’re being compensated for them appropriately.

That’s why Pivot Point Consulting, a Vaco Company is launching its sixth annual market survey of the healthcare IT industry. The anonymous survey asks participants about their salary, benefits package and perks, which will then be published in the company’s market report.

Pivot Point’s Managing Partner, Rachel Marano, says the survey is one of the ways her company looks out for consultants and candidates. “We conduct this survey as a way for employees to benchmark their salaries, and for candidates to better evaluate their job offers,” she said. “Healthcare IT professionals are doing important and challenging work, and they deserve to know they’re being compensated accordingly.”

Healthcare IT professionals are doing important and challenging work, and they deserve to know they’re being compensated accordingly.

The 2017 Healthcare IT Market Survey launches today, is completely anonymous, and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. For every completed response, Pivot Point has pledged to donate $1 to the Red Cross for hurricane relief. If interested, you can take the survey here.

October 3, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

MEDECISION ACQUIRES AXISPOINT HEALTH’S PLATFORM BUSINESS

Medecision supports platform clients through transition to Aerial

DALLAS, TX and DENVER, CO – October 3, 2017—Medecision, a category leader in population health management solutions for risk-bearing entities, announced today the acquisition of over 50 clients from AxisPoint Health. In this transaction, Medecision acquired the clients that currently use CCMS and VITAL, recently rebranded as AXIS. AxisPoint Health’s services businesses, including CarePoint, GuidePoint, and Analytix, are not included in this transaction and remain under management by AxisPoint Health.

This acquisition makes Medecision the largest independent provider of care management platforms and applications in the United States, now supporting over 50 million lives for nearly 100 of the nation’s leading health plans and care delivery organizations. AxisPoint Health’s platform clients join Medecision’s community of national and regional brands and population health pioneers, expanding the Company’s footprint and strengthening its presence in markets where risk-sharing arrangements and value-based contracting require insights-actionable workflow throughout the care ecosystem, all the way to consumers and their caregivers. Medecision currently serves health plans and care delivery organizations that manage population risk.

“We are committed to providing our new clients with a great customer experience on their current platform as well as a path to the benefits that Aerial clients enjoy–advanced functionality and value, a strong product roadmap, improved access to innovation and world-class data and security services,” said Deborah M. Gage, CEO and President at Medecision. “These software customers can now rapidly modernize their care management programs by migrating to the more fully featured and advanced Aerial platform and applications, proven to lower the total cost of operations and improve their ability to manage risk and care,” Gage continued.  “We are excited to welcome a team of talented and dedicated employees into our community of hundreds of healthcare liberators.”

“I am thrilled that our platform clients now have a partner like Medecision,” said Christopher A. Long, President of AxisPoint Health. “Since the CCMS platform retirement announcement, many customers have asked about the critical enhancements and new functionality required for their programs. The demands of risk-bearing operations are only outpaced by the technological advancements critical to sustainability and security. Through their next-generation ecosystem, I believe Medecision offers our platform clients the best opportunity for today and going forward.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Aerial: A Premium Platform for Population Health Management

For almost a decade, Medecision has consistently invested in Aerial, strengthening its big data aggregation and insights management capabilities, increasing engagement throughout the care team, ensuring compliance with multiple programs and jurisdictional entities and helping users manage to quality and financial performance targets. Aerial operates in a big-data-platform-plus-apps mode, supported by the layering of a portfolio of workflow and engagement applications over robust services that push bi-directional, machine-learning-enriched intelligence to clinical and consumer users.

Aerial has become the standard bearer for population health management support across the payer and provider markets, and is recognized by several industry analysts. Medecision’s clients, which operate successful population health and care management programs nationally, rely on Aerial to succeed in multiple lines of business, with diverse populations and within various payment models and risk-sharing agreements.

Aerial’s Suite of Applications & Flexible Packaging Solve Pop Health’s Multidimensional Needs

In the past 18 months, Medecision has launched multiple platform assets and applications that complement our core products including Care, Utilization, and Disease Management, Network Management and Care Coordination. The latest releases include:

  • Insights™
    • Supporting all Aerial applications with powerful intelligence and analytics, Aerial’s big data platform and enterprise data warehouse provides the longitudinal, person-centric knowledge base required for personalized care and population health management as well as the insights on behavioral, physical and clinical dimensions that drive targeted workflow for optimal interventions, care plans and engagement.
  • Population Analytics
    • Predicts risk and directs interventions to avoid costly occurrences through analytics, risk models, visualizations and reporting.
  • Health Summary™
    • The most powerful, complete and actionable personal health record available. The Aerial Health Summary empowers members, and their care teams with a single comprehensive view of the patient’s medical care plan, risks, gaps and an up to the minute care view.
  • Financial Performance Dashboards
    • Provides actionable intelligence to make rapid and critical decisions in utilization, prescribing and dispensing and population stratification.
  • Risk Score Manager™
    • Enables providers to identify and close gaps critical to care and reimbursement, putting the management of HCC scoring, Star Ratings, HEDIS, P4P or other reimbursement programs in the clinicians’ hands.
  • Appeals and Grievances™
    • A leading solution to manage the complex workflows and tasks to optimize revenues, lower labor costs and comply with regulations related to the handling of appeals and grievances.
  • Bundled Episode Manager™
    • Supports more productive and efficient care coordination and revenue generation around specific clinical episodes of care, helping care navigators focus on risk identification, intervention and coordination across multiple settings.
  • InCircle™
    • A social-mobile app that allows consumers to share their health status and care plan with their care community to improve consumer engagement and involve care-givers in virtual information sharing, thereby reducing the cost of care and improving clinical outcomes.

Medecision will also launch two new applications in its Fall 2017 release, including:

  • Care Engagement™
    • Improves engagement for optimal clinical outcomes and lowers care management costs through streamlined workflow that is accessible on mobile devices and can be used in “tethered” and “un-tethered” modes.
  • UM Connector™
    • Helps manage financial risk and Increases operational efficiencies by “webifying” and automating workflows, including monitoring, auditing, and oversight of Utilization and Network operations, while assisting with CMS and other compliance and regulatory requirements.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.