HHS Office for Civil Rights sends preliminary surveys for Phase 2 of HIPAA audit program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has sent pre-audit screening surveys to covered entities that could be selected to participate in Phase 2 of the HIPAA audit program, OCR has confirmed.

Pediatric telemedicine program with rural EDs nets savings

A pediatric telemedicine program can improve quality, safety and patient satisfaction while also saving money, according to new research from the University of California-Davis Children's Hospital.

US House members possibly impacted by CareFirst cyberattack

Consumers impacted by a cyberattack on CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield may have also included House lawmakers.

In-person consult mandates provide hurdles to telemedicine

New state laws could have a "chilling effect" on the adoption of telemedicine.

VA fails cybersecurity audit for 16th straight year

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which failed its Federal Information Security Management Act Audit for Fiscal Year 2014, is taking major steps to fix its cybersecurity in the wake of increasing scrutiny over vulnerabilities and cyberdeficiencies at the agency.

Security experts worry about 'spear phishing' in wake of CareFirst breach

Security experts weighing in on Wednesday's breach of health insurer CareFirst, which impacted 1.1 million current and former customers, said the compromised information could be used for everything from medical identity fraud to future attacks geared toward extracting even more data from victims. What's more, they believe this is only the beginning for breaches of this nature.

21st Century Cures Act passes through committee with unanimous approval

Despite concerns raised by healthcare groups and leaders over the 21st Century Cures Act, the legislation today was unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

HIT Standards Committee reorganization met with opposition

The Office of the National Coordinator plans to replace the Health IT Standards Committee's standing workgroup structure with targeted, time-limited task forces at the end of June. It's a move that doesn't sit well with some committee members.

VA launches innovation series for creation of prosthetic limbs

A new initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs aims to create better prosthetic limbs with the help of engineers, health professionals and others.

AHA raises concerns about interoperability provisions in 21st Century Cures Act

The American Hospital Association expressed concerns about the interoperability provisions in the 21st Century Cures legislation in a letter sent to Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

4 issues providers face when adopting telemedicine services

Telemedicine implementation comes with many considerations, the least of which is figuring out where to start, according to panelists at the Institute for Health Technology Transformation conference in Boston.

Hack attack on CareFirst compromises info for 1.1 million consumers

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield on Wednesday announced that it was the target of a cyberattack that compromised information of about 1.1 million current and former consumers, as well as individuals who conducted business with the company online. The attack was discovered last month during information technology security efforts conducted in the wake of other recent high-profile cyberattacks on fellow payers Anthem and Premera discovered earlier this year.

John Halamka: Charter organization to ensure interoperability doesn't make sense

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka, speaking out against a bill included in the 21st Century Cures Act that would result in the dissolution of the Health IT Standards Committee, offers up several ways to accelerate the interoperability of electronic health records in a recent blog post.

Rapid growth projected for global telemedicine market

The global market for telemedicine technologies is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 18.4 percent from the $17.8 billion spent on hardware, software and services through 2020, according to a new report from RNCOS.

Allscripts lays off 250 employees

Electronic health record vendor Allscripts is eliminating 250 jobs, which represents 3.5 percent of its global workforce.

Coast Guard called to task for insufficient health data privacy

The U.S. Coast Guard has made progress in developing a culture of privacy, but still faces challenges because it lacks a strong organizational approach to resolving privacy issues, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General.

Kaiser CIO: Tech and high-quality care go hand in hand

Kaiser Permanente's mission is to deliver high-quality and affordable care, and that can't be done without effective use of technology, says Dick Daniels, Kaiser's executive vice president and chief information officer.

Alabama rolls tide forward for implementing interstate licensure compact

The Federation of State Medical Board's Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is ready to be formally implemented with the addition of Alabama to the roster of states supporting the legislation.

Seattle Children's CISO: Focus on security and compliance will follow

A good information security program will bring the organization into compliance with security mandates, making it unnecessary to pursue better compliance. But it's a nuanced difference.

Electronic pillbox boosts remote care for diabetics

A telehealth program for patients with poorly controlled diabetes showed encouraging results, though it involved a small sample made up primarily of African-American women, according to research published this month in Telemedicine and e-Health.