This week's highlights: ONC officials remind healthcare stakeholders that the Cure Act's information blocking provision has taken effect, 3M Health Information Systems launched a new Social Determinants of Health Analytics technology platform, and the CDC finally confirms that "deep cleaning" businesses are pointless since infections are spread by air.
• The federal information blocking rule is set to go into effect on Monday but the expansive nature of the regulation and a lack of clarity around what could be considered information blocking is making it hard for providers and health IT developers to comply.
• The CMS released an article informing all Medicare providers and suppliers who requested and received COVID-19 Accelerated and Advance Payments that it began recovering those payments March 30th, depending on the one-year anniversary of their first payment.
• ONC officials remind healthcare stakeholders that the Cures Act’s information blocking provision has taken effect. The requirement covers health care providers, health IT developers of certified health IT, and health information networks/health information exchanges.
• The FDA is warning healthcare providers of a potential infection risk linked to reprocessed urological endoscopes after receiving numerous reports of patient infections and contamination issues.
• Mayo Clinic has sold $500 million in bonds to investors as the Rochester, Minnesota-based health system prepares to invest heavily in capital projects over the next five years, the Post Bulletin reported.
• HIMSS acquires SCAN Health, which offers healthcare supply chain traceability events, a supply chain maturity scale, business case competitions, and design competitions.
• The Center for Health Affairs sells its CHAMPS Oncology business, which helps providers with cancer registry participation, to clinical data solutions vendor Q-Centrix.
• Imprivata and Emerging Global Technologies partner to bring innovative digital identity technology to healthcare providers in the Middle East.
• Boston Children’s Hospital is launching a telehealth program to screen newborns on Cape Cod and outlying islands for hearing issues. It is creating a hub-and-spoke telemedicine platform with Cape Cod Hospital to provide virtual access to audiologists for the pilot program.
• 3M Health Information Systems launched a new Social Determinants of Health Analytics technology platform, aimed at allowing healthcare providers and payers to prioritize care for high-risk populations.
• Verizon is joining the crowded virtual care market with the launch of its new telemedicine platform for providers, Verizon BlueJeans. It will be generally available in May.
• The FBI warned that hackers are leveraging Mamba ransomware to weaponize the legitimate, open source disk encryption software known as DiskCryptor, which blocks access to the network.
• A new Proofpoint report shows a nation-state hacking group with ties to Iran is targeting senior medical research personnel in the U.S. and Israel with credential phishing attacks.
• The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a supplemental directive requiring all federal agencies to identify vulnerable Microsoft Exchange servers in their environments within five days.
• Facebook leaked the data of 533 million users and didn’t tell anyone. The data, which includes user phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, account creation dates, relationship status, and more, was being freely traded in hacker forums over the weekend. Users can enter their phone numbers into a website to see if they appeared in the recent data breach.
• MEDITECH publishes a new case study, “Princeton Community Hospital improves response time and physician efficiency with MEDITECH Expanse and Teknicor.”
• The CDC finally confirms that “deep cleaning” businesses is pointless since infections are spread by air, recommending instead that employees wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitizer only when soap and water aren’t available.
• Tom Kurz, the CIO of Memorial Healthcare, a 162-bed hospital in Owosso, Michigan, describes the challenges faced at their rural hospital and how MEDITECH Expanse is helping consolidate operations.
• Identity Management Solutions Review published a post on “Why Governance in Identity Security is Such a Challenge.”
• A new KLAS report looks at social determinants of health referral networks, with Aunt Bertha leading the small pack. Unite Us, which just announced a funding round valuing the company at nearly $2 billion, scored well, though with fewer healthcare customers.
• Pfizer will begin U.S. studies in April of a version of its COVID-19 vaccine that can be stored under normal refrigeration.
• Thirty-five percent of respondents from households with an annual income below $24,000 reported forgoing care in the past year, compared with 7 percent among households earning below $180,000 per year, according to a study released by Gallup and West Health, a nonprofit focused on lowering healthcare costs for older people.
• A KLAS Arch Collaborative report finds that the manner in which health systems implement and support EHRs is a bigger driver of physician and nurse EHR perception than the vendor’s own delivery of functionality and support for quality care.