Top Stories for 9/17

September 17, 2021 HIMSS Media
Top Stories for 9/17
Show Notes Transcript

Lawsuit alleges Aetna discriminates against LGBTQ+ members; Organizations at security risk due to skills gaps. Also: Elvie launches smart breast pump.

Links to the stories:

Aetna hit with lawsuit claiming LGBTQ+ fertility discrimination

Skills gap in healthcare IT industry cause security threats, according to new report

Elvie launches new smart breast pump in the US covered by insurance

A major insurer is under fire for allegedly discriminating against LGBTQ+ members. What is the lawsuit alleging? I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and we’ll cover that and more in this week’s Top Stories.

 A new class-action lawsuit filed Monday in a New York District Court alleges that the health insurer Aetna discriminates against its LGBTQ+ members by not providing equal access to fertility treatments. According to Healthcare Finance News(https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/aetna-hit-lawsuit-claiming-lgbtq-fertility-discrimination), the plaintiff, Emma Goidel, filed the suit after having to pay nearly $45,000 out of pocket for fertility treatments that Aetna refused to cover. Because same-sex couples cannot naturally conceive from intercourse, Aetna's policy will only cover fertility treatments after 12 months of members paying for them upfront. The suit alleges this policy causes financial, physical and emotional harm to LGBTQ+ couples enrolled in its health plan. Aetna announced this week it would change its fertility policy in response.

 Research from European provider of cloud infrastructure and cloud services, IONOS Cloud, has found that 37% of healthcare IT decision-makers say their organization is at risk of security threats due to skills gaps. HealthcareITNews reports (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/emea/skills-gap-healthcare-it-industry-cause-security-threats-according-new-report) that four in 10 are facing a skills gap in data protection, with a quarter saying it means they are not adhering to necessary legislation or following the correct data protection procedures. The aim of the report was to better understand the current challenges businesses are facing in the wake of the pandemic, and where cyber security and data protection standards are sitting on healthcare business’s IT priority lists.

 Finally this week, Elvie, a British femtech company, has announced the launch of its latest smart breast pump, which is covered by insurance, exclusively in the U.S. As we see in MobiHealthNews (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/elvie-launches-new-smart-breast-pump-us-covered-insurance), the pump is called Elvie Stride, and has many of the same features as the company’s other breastfeeding products, including wearable cups that collect milk in-bra, noise-reducing technology and a connected app that controls the pump and keeps track of user history. What sets Elvie Stride apart is the option to get it for free or at a low cost by having it covered by insurance. Elvie has partnered with a number of durable medical equipment providers to sell its new product.

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