The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the deadline to July 1 for eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals (EHs), and critical access hospitals (CAHs) to apply for a Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Hardship Exemption.
The deadline originally was March 15 for EPs, and April 1 for EHs and critical CAHs. CMS said it seeks to give providers sufficient time to submit applications so that providers can avoid adjustments to their Medicare payments in 2017.
In late December, President Obama signed a new hardship exemption bill into law, designed to make it easier for healthcare providers to receive hardship exemption from financial penalties for failing to meet Stage 2 meaningful use EHR requirements. The legislation enables CMS to grant hardships not just on a case-by-case basis, but also to 'categories' after which time CMS would still have the case-by-case authority to grant hardship exemptions. Prior to this law, CMS was required to review all applications on a “case-by-case” basis.
While stolen financial data still has a higher market value than stolen medical records, as financial data can be monetized faster, there are indications that there is ongoing development of a market for stolen medical data, according to an Intel Security McAfee Labs report.
A phishing scam at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. has potentially exposed the personal data of 13,000 patients, according to a privacy statement from the patient care organization and a report from MassLive.
In an update, DirectTrust reported significant growth in Direct exchange of health information and the number of trusted Direct addressed enabled to share personal health information (PHI) in the third quarter of 2016.
Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.
With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.