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    Industry News Update 10/15/21

    October 2021 | Mike Murphy, Director of Business and Industry Analytics

    News and Events, Industry Trends

    This week's highlights: Johnson & Johnson has formally asked the FDA to clear a second dose of its coronavirus vaccine as a booster shot to increase protection from COVID-19, Google will be automatically enabling two-step verification for more than 150 million users by the end of the year, & Apple rushes out iOS 15.0.2 to address an urgent remote code execution vulnerability that is being actively exploited. 


     

    Regulatory, Legislative, and Legal News

    • Johnson & Johnson has formally asked the FDA to clear a second dose of its coronavirus vaccine as a booster shot to increase protection from COVID-19, following the lead of Pfizer and Moderna.
    • The CMS should recoup $636 million in overpayments to hospitals and other providers from the improper billing of neurostimulator implantation surgeries, according to an audit by the HHS Office of the Inspector General.
    • National Nurses United, the largest organization of nurses in the U.S., called on the FTC in a press release to investigate contracts many hospitals require newly hired nurses to sign as terms of employment, but which the union says can lead to harsh burdens. The union suggested a California law passed last year declaring such contracts to be unlawful to serve as a national model. 
    • The AMA announced Current Procedural Terminology code set updates to now include vaccine and administration codes for pediatric doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine upon FDA authorization.

     

    Financial and Investment News

    • Google's artificial intelligence startup has turned a profit for the first time since its inception in 2010. DeepMind recorded a $59.6 million profit in 2020 after losing hundreds of millions for the last several years. In 2019, DeepMind reported losing $449 million.
    • Appriss has sold its Insights business to Equifax for nearly $2 billion, leaving its Bamboo Health and Retail subsidiaries intact.
    • MindLabs raises $3.5M in seed funding to make mental wellness more engaging with a combination of on-demand or live video classes and community features.

     

    New Products and Services

    • Imprivata and VMware announced a collaboration that will free clinicians from having to type passwords on mobile devices by combining Imprivata GroundControl, Imprivata OneSign®, and VMware Workspace ONE™. This new integration unlocks the power of both company offerings with the tap of a badge to give clinicians more secure, no-password access to any app from their mobile devices.
    • Health IoT cybersecurity vendor Cynerio launches a small-hospital subscription program to protect against malware, ransomware, and other device security threats.
    • Google will be automatically enabling two-step verification for more than 150 million users by the end of the year. It includes tapping yes on another device or using a physical security key in the device being used when logging on to a Google account.

     

    Privacy and Security

    • The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center has released a threat briefing about LockBit, a ransomware group that has recently debuted a new variant.
    • Google announced the release of an updated Chrome version for Windows, Mac and Linux last week, to address a total of four high-severity vulnerabilities in the browser.
    • A group of cybercriminals known as "FIN12" is expanding hacking operations and repeatedly targeting the health care industry with ransomware attacks, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Mandiant. Russian-speaking hackers behind the widespread hacking campaign check financial statements before cherry-picking their victims, demanding ransoms sometimes reaching into the millions of dollars.
    • Apple rushes out iOS 15.0.2 to address an urgent remote code execution vulnerability that is being actively exploited.
     

    Other News

    • CHIME has recognized 107 hospitals as achieving Level 9 status in its 2021 Healthcare's Most Wired program and 8 that achieved both Level 9 Most Wired recognition and at Level 10 Most Wired eligibility.
    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. has seen healthcare workers leave their jobs, and the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed another decline. Overall, employment in healthcare is down by 524,000 since February 2020, with nursing and residential care facilities representing about four-fifths of the losses.

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