In the News
It's Friday--time to catch up on the news. I was hoping to share a delightful health-related story with you, but there were too many good ones, and who am I to single out? So, on to a list we go; I'll leave it up to you to pick and prune according to your preferences.
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explores record access issues in "Patients demand: ‘Give us our damned data.'" The article is part of series on the "Empowered Patient," and it features a few familiar faces. We interviewed Regina Holliday about her rally for better release of information practices last October in "The Fight of Her Life" and profiled Dave deBronkart, aka ePatientDave, in "From Social Blogger to DC Adviser," part of our "Social Media and HIM" coverage last September. deBronkart and Jen McCabe also attended HealthCamp Philadelphia in March 2009-ADVANCE was there, with cameras in hand: "HealthCamp Philadelphia: Change is in the Air."
And it's not just the health folks perking up over at CNN. Medical billing--more specifically, fraud--has caught the attention of CNN Money. "Health care: A ‘goldmine' for fraudsters" reveals what many HIMers already know: fraud is a costly and rising trend, and providers must make privacy and security a priority to keep electronic health records from becoming a hotbed of medical identity theft. We followed the plight of a medical identity theft victim in 2008's "Stop Medical Identity Theft" and learned about her ongoing struggle to clean up her records in "Medical Identity Theft: The Aftermath." We're also working on an article now about a volunteer fraud prevention program-watch for that on www.advanceweb.com/him next month!
Next, Connecticut made HITECH history when Richard Blumenthal (not to be confused with National Coordinator David Blumenthal) became the first state attorney general to enforce sanctions for HIPAA violations. Blumenthal filed a lawsuit against Health Net following a security breach that left nearly 450,000 enrollees vulnerable to identity theft. State attorney generals only recently earned the power to take such action, bestowed in 2009's HITECH Act. It's the first of its kind, but certainly not the last, so providers should heed the message: encrypt your darned data. And, as we discovered in "Are You Secured?" it's not as hard as it seems.
Finally, we have the tragedy in Haiti. The world is responding, and health care facilities are on the frontlines for relief. Our sister publication, ADVANCE for Long-Term Care Management highlighted efforts in "Helping Haiti." The feature also includes information on what you can do to help. Already pitching in? Let us know how you're helping the recovery on our Facebook page.