Top Stories for 9/24

September 24, 2021 HIMSS Media
Top Stories for 9/24
Show Notes Transcript

Hospitals poised to lose $54B in net income this year; Apple looks to create new mental health detection feature . Plus: Ransomware attacks during COVID-19 have impacted patient safety and care availability.

Links to the stories:

Hospitals projected to lose $54 billion in net income this year

Apple looks to digital biomarkers for features detecting depression, cognitive decline

Ponemon study finds link between ransomware, increased mortality rate

It’s going to be another costly year for American hospitals. What are the drivers, and how will they be affected? I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and we’ll dig into that topic and more in this week’s Top Stories.

 Higher expenses for labor, drugs and supplies, as well as a continuation of delayed care during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is projected to cost hospitals an estimated $54 billion in net income over the course of this year, according to a new Kaufman Hall analysis. Healthcare Finance News reports (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/hospitals-projected-lose-54-billion-net-income-year) that these losses will be ameliorated somewhat by the CARES Act; without CARES Act funding, the losses would be in the vicinity of $92 billion. However, there are still unknown variables, as the Delta variant and other coronavirus strains could result in even greater financial uncertainty for hospitals. Despite the recent announcement of additional provider relief funds, none have yet to be allocated or distributed.

 Tech company Apple is looking to use digital biomarkers to help detect depression and early-stage cognitive decline. As we see in MobiHealthNews (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/apple-looking-use-digital-biomarkers-develop-features-detect-depression-cognitive-decline), the end goal is to create a new Apple feature that would tell users if there was a potential mental illness. Data collected regarding a users’ mobility, physical activity and sleep patterns could be included in the algorithm. The new effort could be tied to collaborations that the Silicon Valley titan already has established with UCLA researchers and pharma company Biogen. According to the CDC, 4.7% of adults over the age of 18 living in the U.S. have regular feelings of depression.

 Finally this week, a report from the Ponemon Institute has found that ransomware attacks in the time of COVID-19 have had an impact on patient safety, data and overall care availability. According to HealthcareITNews (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/ponemon-study-finds-link-between-ransomware-increased-mortality-rate), the pandemic has introduced new complications – including remote work, staffing strains and scaled-up IT needs – into an already fraught healthcare security landscape. And bad actors have taken advantage. Forty-three percent of respondents said their organizations have experienced a ransomware attack, and 45% said it resulted in disruption of patient care.

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