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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.

MACRA!

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.

Topics

News

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A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.