News

In light of recent data theft at retailers and other businesses, as well as amid fears of additional data breaches as the healthcare environment migrates to the digital world, Johns Hopkins information security experts have helped organize a conference to inform top executives about the growing risks of digital break-ins, how to reduce these risks, and how to manage the aftermath of a data breach.

The latest healthcare hack appears to have been the HealthCare.gov website, federal officials confirmed last week. Hackers uploaded malware to a test server for the federal health insurance exchange.

Modest projected growth in the U.S. economy will help propel increases in health spending beyond growth in the GDP over the coming decade, according to a report from CMS published in Health Affairs.

More than 20,000 insured Georgians have until this Friday to provide missing information to their health insurance exchange (HIX) plan or they will lose their coverage on September 30.

Few would dispute the restorative power of unplugging from work, but only a scant 3 percent of CEOs across a range of industries report that they can completely disconnect during vacations.

The formation of a new health information exchange was recently announced in California that would make the medical records of nine million patients, representing more than a quarter of the state’s population, available to network physicians and hospitals.

The Senate confirmed Robert McDonald to head the Department of Veterans Affairs last week, just after congressional leaders put together a $17 billion funding bill to help reform the agency. 

In an NPR story, some professional societies and associations expressed concern over a new report from the Insitute of Medicine that calls for more accountability in the distribution of funding for medical graduate education. 

The current physician piecemeal reimbursement model ultimately drives up the costs of healthcare according to Sandeep Jauhar, MD. In a New York Times editorial he explains that while overutilization is certainly a factor, cutting payments to physicians is a self-defeating strategy, forcing them to increase the number of patients they see, which reduces the amount of time spent with each one. Busy doctors call on others to help with the patient load, often times specialists who may order more tests, driving up costs. "There is no more wasteful entity in medicine than a rushed doctor," says Jauhar.  

He may have been preaching to the choir, but surgeon and thought leader Atul Gawande, MD, told a crowd at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s annual meeting in Las Vegas that data and leadership from healthcare finance experts will have the biggest impact on improving the value of healthcare.

ACA has accelerated the rate of change in healthcare and payors are under the gun to make the transition from an industry in which the customer is a corporation to one in which consumers call the shots. Many current market leaders could be unseated, predicts a June report from McKinsey & Company.

Radiologist Eric Schnipper, MD, provided an economic perspective on the Veteran’s Administration hospital crisis for CNBC’s “Street Signs” segment last week.