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Washington Debrief: Bracing for MACRA Regs

April 5, 2016
by Leslie Kriegstein, Vice President of Congressional Affairs, CHIME
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Lawmaker Considers a Mandate to Inform Patients of Ransomware Occurrence

Key Takeaway: On the heels of more reports of ransomware incidences at health systems across the nation, a California lawmaker is considering the circumstances under which patients should be notified of an attack.

Why it matters: Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), a member of Subcommittee on Information Technology of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has suggested revisions to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) to include a directive that hospitals notify patients if it is the victim to ransomware.

Under current law, facilities must notify their patients if their health records have been stolen or compromised during a breach. A ransomware attack may not extract patient data, rather it may only impede access to such data by providers. Lieu has also expressed interest in pursuing legislation to combat information blocking.


Key Takeaway: Not only is spring in the air, so is MACRA.

Why it Matters: CMS sent it proposed MACRA rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on March 25. This means the regulation is inching closer to publication. 

ONC Annual Meeting

Key Takeaway: Mark your calendars – ONC annual meeting is around the corner.

Why it Matters: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is sponsoring its 6thannual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. May 31-June 2. This year will bring three days of non-stop health IT talk. A third day was added this year to devote more time to discussing how to better enable “consumers to become partners in their health … through access to their health information and technology.” Stay tuned for registration details.



Gates Foundation Awards $210M to UW's Population Health Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.

AHA Offers Interoperability Standards Recommendations to ONC

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has offered feedback to the ONC on the agency’s draft Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) that it issued in August.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.

FDA, Hospitals Work to Improve Data Collection about Medical Devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking to improve the way it works with hospitals to modernize and streamline data collection, specifically safety data, about medical devices.

McKesson Unveils New Paragon Electronic Health Record Platform

McKesson Enterprise Information Solutions (EIS) announced the latest release of Paragon, its electronic health record (EHR) solution.