Top Stories for 2/25

February 25, 2022 HIMSS Media
Top Stories for 2/25
Show Notes Transcript

This week: EHRs vulnerable to cyberattackers, agency claims; Senators urge CMS to keep Medicare Advantage rates stable. Plus: Mindler purchasing Medified Solutions Oy for an undisclosed sum.

Links to the stories:

HHS cyber arm warns of EHR vulnerabilities

Senate calls on CMS to keep Medicare Advantage rates stable

Mindler scoops up Finnish mental health tracker Medified Solutions Oy

EHRs have a wide range of benefits, but they also have vulnerabilities. What are they? I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and we’ll get to the bottom of that and other developments in this week’s Top Stories.

 The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center published a threat brief this past week cautioning about the potential cybersecurity risks of electronic health records. According to HealthcareITNews (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/hhs-cyber-arm-warns-ehr-vulnerabilities), the Department of Health and Human Services’ cyber agency touted some of EHRs’ advantages, such as improved care quality, but warned that they can be vulnerable to cyber attackers because of the Protected Health Information it contains and the profit they can make on the dark web or the black market. According to researchers, stolen healthcare data is the most valuable, with average breach incident costs totaling $9.23 million in 2021.

 More than 60 members of the U.S. Senate have sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services urging the agency to protect Medicare Advantage by keeping rates stable, as CMS is expected to finalize its MA rate announcement for 2023 by April 4. Healthcare Finance News reports (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/senate-calls-cms-keep-medicare-advantage-rates-stable) that senators extolled the virtues of Medicare Advantage, claiming it’s been instrumental in helping enrollees stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but some organizations have concerns. MedPAC, for instance, warned that MA is costing the government more than the traditional Medicare program, and has made several suggestions, including developing a new risk-adjustment model and replacing the quality bonus program with a value incentive program that would finance the MA quality system in a budget-neutral manner.

 Finally this week, Sweden-based Mindler announced plans to buy fellow digital mental health startup Medified Solutions Oy for an undisclosed sum. Medified Solutions Oy is a Finnish startup that created a mental health treatment monitoring software and app. As we see in MobiHealthNews (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/mindler-scoops-finnish-mental-health-tracker-medified-solutions-oy), the Medified app allows users to track their mood and get feedback and encouragement. Users are able to see their mood and habits over time through visual statistics. The data collected on the app can be directly shared with a patient's healthcare provider. Medified's products will be integrated into Mindler's offerings to help measure treatment outcomes and tailor programs.

 I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and this has been Top Stories.