Archive for the ‘digital healthcare records’ Category

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BTC –  There’s still an inherent breakdown between what we think is serviceable law and what the federal government believes is good law or even just.. law. Laws which give States money and Gold Stars for Real ID benchmark compliance are still earning scathing public contempt, unless, as Lady Axxiom says, its called anything other than Real ID.

Here is second life for news that matters:

The pathetic new normal includes more TSA search and siezure of your private parts.

CIA’s Darth Panetta to Wikileaks “Send in the probe!”

BAIT & TACKLE: What’s the right use for net neutrality in the Congress? 

Congress prepare for digital privacy showdown

Facebook responds to User ID controversy 

ZOGBY POLL: 93% of Americans want control over their healthcare records

LISTEN:Teleconference with Patient Privacy rights

California Privacy legislation &  Library patron lawsuits arise 

Google privacy logs deleted  @declanm

MAGID: User Friendly Guide to Privacy on Facebook for families out now

BTC – Biggest break in transparency reports from mainstream media come from the Washington Post.  Special thanks, lead tip goes to Christina Zaba.

WaPo laid out a “rainbow” of where your tax money goes when it comes to programs shrouded in secrecy in their TOP SECRET AMERICA investigative project series.

Other news sources are following train on the tiresome public-private collusion:

Here is second life for news that matters:

ON NSTIC: Private Sector Security Experts Convene at the White House to Discuss the National Cyber Security Agenda

More from driver, Howard A. Schmidt here.

ECONOMIC INCENTIVE: Billions in EHR Incentive Funds Up for Grabs as Doctors Go Digital Across the Country

Wikileaks Reopens

DEFCON:  Cyber “warfare” panel in all of it’s foulmouthed beer drinking glo-rayy here.

BTC – According to reports from some healthcare privacy advocates, the pendulum may be swinging closer towards reasonable regards to privacy when it comes to selling healthcare reform to local constituencies.   The work of advocates is tough.  It’s very important to applaud their efforts to hang in there when they are fighting for our rights to a decent way of life.  When they make steps forward it is sometimes hard for the public to interpret how much of a win is actually, a win.  More often they need our help to affirm government leadership when they are moving in the right direction.

“It is my pleasure to announce… the Notice of Proposed Rule Making [NPRM] that will modify high tech, the HIPPA Privacy and Enforcement rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Healthcare Act…. As we enter into a new age of electronic health information exchanges that it is more important than ever to ensure greater consumer confidence in the privacy and security of their  health information and the industry’s use of new technology.

The NPRM being published strengthens the privacy and secuity protections of health information established under HIPPA as an integral part of the administration’s efforts to broaden the use of health information technology.” –

Georgina Verdugo, Director of the Office of Civil Rights, Dept. of Health & Human Services 

Backed up with:

“It’s important to understand that this announcement we are making today is part of an Administration-wide commitment to make sure no one has access to your personal information unless you want them to,” says HHS Secry. Sibelius

Steps like this do more to restore confidences lost.

However, it’s not enough to get what they want from the public: complicity with a system which gives the government more responsibility over surveilling sensitive information about their lives.

As I recall, at every opportunity given, government representatives have been dispatched to sell the American public on healthcare.  Now we get healthcare whether we want it or not, whether we are insured or not and the government can manage health records whether we want it or not.  The gap between what is said and what is done hasn’t helped to dial back the vigilance of critics. The public is now wiser to the political process after common privacy and freedoms have become subjective interpretive art for bureaucrats instead of rights and the rule of law.

The people extended a credit of trust over privacy which was unapologetically railroaded with FISA and the Patriot Act.  As a result we have mass galvanization of people who are seemingly ignored by our government.  I have interpreted the Tea Party as a label slapped on quickly by conventional media who are quick to misinterpret.  I think it deserves a new name to aptly reflect more of the truth: the Exploited Underemployed of America.   They are unified by things they can’t pay for.

Our government’s dalliances with totalitarian procedural fascism have trained the masses to not trust them.  With HIPPA, privacy advocates and civil libertarians will be waiting when the pendulum swings back the other way.

Anticipating these opportunities it appears some Indian IT companies had started gearing up even while the Bill was being debated. For instance Wipro Technologies, another major Indian IT company, claims that besides EHR, it has already started working on related IT applications to provide remote managed services, interoperability testing, digitization of medical records, and integration of EHR and public health records.

c/o International Beat, Indrajit Basu

The passage of Obama’s healthcare reforms Bill, which aims to ensure millions — 32 million according to Congressional Budget Office estimate — uninsured Americans get medical coverage may be US’s most sweeping health-care legislation in four decades. But while it rewrites the rules governing the world’s largest medical industry, America’s healthcare sector predicts that it will have to struggle to overhaul its IT systems in order to be ready for the ensuing healthcare reforms.

What’s more; while US’s healthcare IT is gearing up for a long-drawn mission to tackle extensive and expensive solutions, the Indian IT sector is looking forward to a multibillion-dollar opportunity from the legislation, which is “historic” according to many.

The bill that expands coverage to Americans who were so far been unable to afford medical insurance, is expected to bring in major changes in the medical insurance sector forcing them to overhaul their systems.

The sector would have to throw money, people and technology in order to prepare for the changes, say sources. “Consequently, a huge opportunity has opened up for the Indian IT outsourcing sector that already plays a significant role providing IT services to the US healthcare industry,” says a spokesperson of Infosys Technologies, the Nasdaq-listed Indian IT company, which is one of the largest IT outsourcing service provider.

India’s money-spinning IT outsourcing sector that earns close to $40 billion a year in providing IT outsourcing service to the US, reckons that Obama’s plan would need at least $20 billion to be spent of healthcare IT alone. Most of this money is expected to be spent of creating Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for all Americans by 2014.

Traditionally the American healthcare IT has been relatively slow in adopting technology, which has often come as a problem in upgrading its healthcare systems. But the new Bill would require a lot of automation in the healthcare system which means that the sector would have to integrate systems and create cutting edge technology-driven healthcare applications.

It would also require solutions to assist the US healthcare industry to prevent leakages and reduce costs and waste.

“That means trickling down of opportunities to Indian IT companies in the form of long-term partnerships with the US healthcare industry,” said another industry source.

Anticipating these opportunities it appears some Indian IT companies had started gearing up even while the Bill was being debated. For instance Wipro Technologies, another major Indian IT company, claims that besides EHR, it has already started working on related IT applications to provide remote managed services, interoperability testing, digitization of medical records, and integration of EHR and public health records.

Besides, a significant amount of business is anticipated from enrollments, claims processing and providing customer services with technology and tools.

The Bill is indeed set to change the face of healthcare delivery in the US. Besides focusing on extending healthcare to American citizens, it also aims at streamlining the entire administrative system to drastically cut the nation’s healthcare cost.

Thus, services such as finance and accounting, research and analytics will be high in demand as well since these too help in reducing cost and increase efficiency, say experts.

2010 Security Predictions

c/o The Industry Standard


The FBI issues tens of thousands of security letters to get records on individuals without warrants. Congress investigates and is appalled at the FBI’s “underreporting”. The FBI promises to do better (see 2009, and 2008 and 2007….). The 4th amendment continues to erode into meaninglessness.

* Real ID dies a deserved death and is abandoned in 2010. The brain dead idea of better-security-via-universal-ID unfortunately persists despite the enormous number of identity theft victims created by over-reliance on SSN.

* The Transportation Security Administration stops wasting billions of dollars in traveller delays by confiscating water bottles and removing shoes. Instead it focuses on real threats based on rational risk assessment, not security theater based on movie-plots (hat-tip Bruce Schneier). OK, unlikely, but I can dream, can’t I?

As always, I will revisit these at the end of the year and provide a critical analysis of my success rate.

Happy New Year everyone, and thank you for reading!

ALSO: Health privacy undermined: Worst breaches of 2009

http://www.networkworld.com/slideshows/2009/090209-health-breaches.html



ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2009) — Although physicians support the use of electronic health records, concerns about potential privacy breaches remain an issue, according to two research articles published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Informatics Association (JAMIA), in its premiere issue as one of 30 specialty titles published by the BMJ (British Medical Journal) Group, UK.

One published study is based on views of more than 1,000 family practice and specialist physicians in Massachusetts who were asked whether they thought electronic health information exchange (HIE) would drive down costs, improve patient care, free up their time and preserve patient confidentiality. They were also asked whether they would be willing to pay a monthly fee to use the system.

The electronic exchange of health information (HIE) among different long- distance providers has become the focus of intense national interest, following recent legislation and moves to offer cash incentives for those who switch to the system.
The responses showed widespread support for the use of HIE, even though only just over half were actually using electronic health records.

Most (86%) said that HIE would improve the quality of care and seven out of 10 thought it would cut costs. Three out of four (76%) felt that it also would save time.

But 16% said they were “very concerned” about potential breaches of privacy, while a further 55% were “somewhat concerned.”
The authors note that the responses indicate a lower level of concern than expressed by physicians in the UK, but suggest that this might change if breaches occur to a greater extent than currently recognized.

Despite their overall enthusiasm, physicians were not willing to support the suggested $150 monthly fee, and nearly half were unwilling to pay anything at all.

A second study reported in JAMIA, suggests that mental health professionals have significant concerns about the privacy and security of data on electronic health records.

Of 56 responding psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and therapists — out of 120 who were sent the survey–based at one academic medical center, most (81%) felt that the system permitted the preservation of “open therapeutic communications.” Most also felt that electronic records were clearer and more complete than paper versions, although not necessarily more factual.

When it came to privacy, almost two-thirds (63%) were less willing to record highly confidential information to an electronic record than they would to a paper record.

More than eight out of 10 (83%) said they if they were to become a patient, they would not want to include their own mental health records to be routinely accessed by other providers.

The authors point out that previously published surveys of patients/consumers have reflected a lack of confidence in tight security, and that people with mental health issues already face stigmatization.

While the narrative data of patients’ life histories and experiences inform clinical decision-making in psychiatric care, the threat of security breaches makes them vulnerable to potential misuse or misinterpretation, the authors say.
Adoption of electronic health records has been slower than anticipated, the authors add. And they conclude: “Designers of future systems will need to enhance electronic file security and simultaneously maintain legitimate accessibility in order to preserve confidence in psychiatric and other [electronic health record] systems.”

“The ramifications of data security cover more than the psychiatric domain, implying a need for considerable reflection,” they say.