The federal government warns healthcare organizations to defend themselves against potential North Korea-sponsored cyberattacks that are using Maui ransomware.
FBI, CISA, and Treasury urge healthcare and public health organizations to:
- Deploy PKI and digital certificates to authenticate network connections, including to the EHR.
- Inactivate generic administrator accounts.
- Turn off network device management interfaces.
- Secure PHI with encryption at rest and firewalls.
- Implement multi-layer network segmentation.
- Store backups offline.
- Use tools to monitor IoT devices for erratic use.
July 12 (Tuesday) 1 ET. “Digital Data Stewardship for Trusted, High-Quality Data Exchange.” Sponsor: Clinical Architecture. Presenter: Carol Graham, MS, RN, product manager, Clinical Architecture. Organizations face challenges in ensuring that the patient data they received and send is consistent, accurate, and usable. Use cases include receiving multi-source data across health information networks with variation in formats and content; merging and de-duplicating provider, payer, and research data; uplifting legacy data for current use cases and formats; and normalizing and formatting data for public health surveillance, quality measure reporting, and providing directly to the patient. This webinar will cover Pivot, a comprehensive Digital Data Steward solution that orchestrates format harmonization, content (vocabulary) normalization, de-duplication, and data quality validation into a single solution.
Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Axios reports that Premier Inc. is considering strategic alternatives that include being taken private. The company’s market cap is $4.4 billion, with PINC shares having gained 4% in the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s 21% loss.
Patient payments startup Cedar, valued at $3 billion, lays off 24% of its workforce “in order to adapt to current market realities.”
In England, seven NHS trusts that traded de-identified patient data for shares in an AI startup lose millions of pounds, as shares in Sensyne Health are de-listed due to a company reorganization.
- In England, two Cheshire NHS trusts will collaborate to replace their paper-based systems with Meditech Expanse.
- In The Bahamas, Doctors Hospital Health System chooses CloudWave to host its new Meditech Expanse EHR on OpSus Healthcare Cloud.
Peter Bridges, MBA (Curai Health) joins Transcarent as chief commercial officer.
Announcements and Implementations
Caris Life Sciences will integrate its molecular testing products with Epic’s Orders and Results Anywhere network.
In England, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust becomes the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital, launching a trial of Virgin Media O2 Business connectivity. A key app is vital sign monitoring and documentation of physician observations.
Teladoc Health offers members of its Primary360 primary care program in-home lab specimen collection services from Scarlet Health. Those members also receive free same-day medication delivery from Capsule.
University of Colorado School of Medicine launches the Department of Biomedical Informatics.
A new KLAS status report on telehealth platforms finds that Caregility performs well (especially in inpatient settings), Amwell is often considered even though its legacy product has higher dissatisfaction, and Doximity works well as an easy-to-use and lightweight solution for simple outpatient settings. Customers of Caregility, Teladoc Health InTouch, and SOC Telemed report positive effects in clinical outcomes, while those of Doxy.me say it reduces missed appointments and providers patient benefits at a good price. Vidyo lost ground after Epic replaced it with Twilio. Microsoft Teams and Zoom are frequently used for multi-party calls even in organizations that use different products for regular telehealth visits.
Government and Politics
Former Theranos President and COO Sunny Balwani joins his former fellow executive / former romantic partner Elizabeth Holmes in being convicted of federal charges, in his case, that he defrauded patients and investors. Holmes was acquitted of those same charges, but was found guilty on investor charges. Both face up to 20 years for each count at their September sentencing, 12 in Balwani’s case and four for Holmes.
Privacy and Security
IT security and technology reseller SHI, which has 5,000 employees and $12 billion in annual revenue, remains down from a ransomware attack last weekend. That’s not the best look for a company that sells cybersecurity and disaster recovery solutions.
An interesting article on telehealth in China, written by a Harvard public health researcher, makes these points:
- Telehealth grew hugely in the pandemic’s early days, but the government had already been trying to build a digital health ecosystem to alleviate public hospital overcrowding.
- Telehealth didn’t remove all geographic barriers, as some patients exhibit “home bias” in preferring to be seen by a doctor who practices in their own province.
- Online price transparency should increase competition and lower prices.
- Telehealth doctors are usually full-time employees of public hospitals, raising concerns that their work as private telehealth contractors interfere with their public hospital duties.
- Affordability is a concern since telehealth is primarily an out-of-pocket expense and access to public hospital appointments may worsen for lower-income patients if telehealth referrals fill appointment slots with private pay patients.
Vermont regulators consider revoking the state license of Walgreens after one of its stores closed for months after a fire but kept billing patients and insurers for prescription refills that couldn’t be picked up. The state says the company, which runs 23 stores in Vermont, also shut down stores without notice, closed the pharmacy department for 325 days in a 21-month period because of staffing shortages, and in some cases left the pharmacy open without having a pharmacist-manager present.
The Atlanta newspaper profiles rising local high school senior Asanshay Gupta, who in 2020 – at age 14 – developed a free app to help hospitals calculate the demand for oxygen due to COVID-19 patient requirements. Among its users was a 10-hospital chain in India who used it to ensure that ambulances were stocked with enough oxygen, which was in short supply, for patients being transported. He hopes to study biomedical engineering or medicine after his graduation next year.
My favorite recent article is “Truly Humbled to Be the Author of This Article,” where David Brooks describes those endless LinkedIn and Twitter humble-braggers who shamelessly tout their own accomplishments and all-around wonderfulness while claiming to be “humbled” or “honored.” He cleverly notes that the humble-braggers slather on a bonus layer of false humility by eliminating the personal pronoun, as in “Humbled to be …” instead of “I am humbled to be …” A snip:
You are showing the world that you haven’t let your immense achievements go to your head! You’ve remained completely egalitarian—you just happen to be a better egalitarian than most people (and you are humbled by that fact). It’s easy to be humble when you’re most people. But just think about how amazing it is to be humble when you’re as impressive as you!
- First Databank names Sneha Jingar senior Salesforce administrator.
- Healthcare Triangle facilitates secure data-sharing for drug discovery through “Neutral Zone.”
Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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