A New Hampshire radiology practice is notifying more than 230,000 patients that they may have been affected by a healthcare information breach incident involving hackers using a server to gain bandwidth to play a video game.
On Jan. 14, a new workgroup advising federal regulators dug into the difficult task of figuring out whether a presidential council's recommendations for electronic health record interoperability are feasible.
The hospital that is treating Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and other victims of the Jan. 8 shooting incident in Tucson, Ariz., deserves accolades not only for its care for the victims, but also for calling attention to an important privacy issue.
A presidential council's call for creation of a universal exchange language based on XML as a way to make electronic health records systems interoperable and ease the secure exchange of data is overly simplistic and impractical, some critics say.
Healthcare privacy and security issues rose to the forefront in 2010 thanks, in large part, to the HITECH Act, which led to many new regulations as well as a public list of major health information breaches.
A recently released presidential council report, while raising important issues, oversimplifies the challenges involved in securely exchanging health information, says Joyce Sensmeier, vice president for informatics at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
When the HITECH Act was enacted early in 2009, much was made of its provisions calling for tougher enforcement of the HIPAA privacy and security rules. But we're still waiting for ramped-up enforcement to begin.
The Office of the Inspector General will scrutinize the privacy and security policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the details of the HITECH Act electronic health record incentive program.