Before Congress departed for the Fourth of July district work period last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee overwhelmingly passed S. 1895, the Lower Health Care Costs Act out of committee. Since the beginning of this year, the Senate HELP Committee has held five hearings on how to reduce healthcare costs and four hearings to explore the rising cost of prescription drugs.
HIM professionals have worked diligently to protect data privacy and security during a time of digital transformation in healthcare. The unfortunate reality? Hackers have worked even harder to access that data. It’s a game of ‘cat and mouse,’ and regrettably, the mice (i.e., hackers) appear to have a competitive edge.
Systemic problems from the opioid crisis to mass shootings are linked to the overarching problem of underfunded and underworked mental health services, a problem that Silicon Valley is seeking to address with mobile health apps. At the same time, legislators are introducing legislation aimed at improving privacy protections of unregulated health apps.
In response to a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint, as well as public scrutiny of Facebook privacy settings, the company announced new protections for users who discuss sensitive health topics in Facebook’s Groups forum.
The US Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that it is capping the civil monetary penalties that can be assessed to covered entities, business associates, and health plans for HIPAA violations.
MD Anderson is basing its appeal on several claims, including arguing that the $4.3 million penalty is excessive and is in violation of the eighth amendment to the Constitution, exceeding HIPAA’s statutory caps. Some HIPAA security experts are skeptical of the cancer center’s legal arguments and predict they won’t succeed.