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Monday, April 20, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Industry May Have to Wait for Unsecured PHI Definition

By: Dom Nicastro, April 17, 2009

If you've got a spare minute, call up the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and search for "unsecured protected health information." In your search, you will find 13 references, all under the HITECH Act, or Title XIII. Each one affects your HIPAA Security Rule compliance program in light of the new laws. The problem? No one knows what that means, exactly.

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FTC Unveils EHR Security Rule

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 17, 2009

The FTC's proposed interim rule governing security for electronic health records expands responsibility for maintaining patient confidentiality to include third-party vendors, enhances patient notifications for breaches, and sends a clear signal that the federal government will crack down on violators.

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Making the Switch: Washington Hospital Turns to DNV

By: Matt Phillion, April 17, 2009

For one Washington hospital, making the move from Joint Commission accreditation to DNV Healthcare, Inc.'s NIAHO accreditation was a matter of research, timing . . . and moving at a lightning pace.

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How Health Plans Could Benefit From Health IT

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 17, 2009

Hospitals and physicians will spend many hours over the next two years researching and implementing electronic health records to take advantage of the $36 billion slated for health IT in the stimulus law. While providers perform most of the heavy lifting, another healthcare segment might actually benefit more from better health information exchanges.

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Recession Is Taking Toll on Large Hospital Bottom Lines

By: Janice Simmons, April 20, 2009

During the first quarter of fiscal 2009, more than half (54%) of the hospitals surveyed nationwide reported negative total margins. The greatest rate of hospitals reporting negative margins occurred among those with 500 or more beds (80%) and the lowest rate (36%) was reported among the smallest hospitals (those with less than 100 beds). In addition, according to by the Healthcare Financial Management Association, nonoperating revenue declined 78% in all of the 263 hospitals participating in the survey, with 64% reporting a decrease of more than 20% in operating income.

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Long-Term Care Could Emerge as an Important Player in HIT

By: Emily Beaver, April 20, 2009

Few nursing homes are using electronic health records that allow them to share information with other healthcare providers—a standard known in the technology world as "interoperability." But more nursing homes could begin using more interoperable EHRs soon, thanks to incentives provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a push to certify long-term care health IT products.

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