HMT: Data breaches, industry players merge, Healthcare.gov update
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Health Management Technology News
December 16, 2013

In this issue:

4 Recommendations to Fight Rising Prevalence, Cost of Hospital Data Breaches

athenahealth and Merge Healthcare Partner to Provide Advanced Interoperability for Enhanced Physician Communication and Workflow

New Qualcomm CEO won't make Microsoft happy

U.S. Cites Rise in Health Plan Signups as Sebelius Testifies


4 Recommendations to Fight Rising Prevalence, Cost of Hospital Data Breaches

Innovation and emerging technologies in information technology are both exciting and challenging for the healthcare field. These advances create efficiencies, eliminate waste and improve much-needed access to information. However, new concerns about security and privacy arise as these advances are implemented and utilized.

The uphill battle healthcare organizations face in stopping data breaches is evidenced in the "Third Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security," conducted independently by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by ID Experts.

According to Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute, the study takes a deeper dive into healthcare organizations' struggle to deal with privacy and security data risks. "[Ponemon Institute] not only completes a survey, but observes what the organizations do. The research also includes conversations with members of the organization," says Mr. Ponemon. "This is the third time we are doing the study, and unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse."

Approximately 80 healthcare organizations participated in the research. Although the sample is representative, the quality of the data is influenced by the degree to which the list is representative of all covered entities and business associates in the United States. Regardless, the information can be useful in informing hospitals and health systems as to where they stand in reference to patient data protection.

Read the full Becker’s Hospital Review article here

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athenahealth and Merge Healthcare Partner to Provide Advanced Interoperability for Enhanced Physician Communication and Workflow

New iConnect(R) Network Partnership Delivers Real-Time Clinical Data Directly Into Community Physicians' EHRs to Increase Referrals, Meet Regulatory Requirements and Reduce Costs

Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced a strategic partnership with athenahealth, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health records (EHR), practice management, and care coordination. athenahealth will integrate Merge's iConnect Network with its national cloud-based platform, enabling athenahealth clients to receive and view exam results, diagnostic quality images and other critical patient information within the athenaClinicals® EHR workflow. The partnership will support advanced interoperability between radiologists and providers by decreasing duplicate tests and radiation exposure, improving patient outcomes and increasing physician satisfaction while reducing the cost of care.

"With today's healthcare environment shifting from volume-based to value-based care models, there's an increasing need for the industry as a whole to break down the walls surrounding clinical data to enable care teams to access patient information when they need it," said Doran Robinson, Vice President of Healthcare Transactions, athenahealth. "By integrating iConnect Network within our cloud-based EHR workflow, we'll enhance communications between physicians and radiologists and speed the routing and availability of imaging studies to caregivers. Together with Merge, we believe that information sharing is key to the advancement of care delivery. This is an exciting partnership that leverages the right technologies to make things work as they should in healthcare."

Read the full press release here

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New Qualcomm CEO won't make Microsoft happy

Qualcomm chief operating officer Steve Mollenkopf won't be Microsoft's next CEO.

That's because Qualcomm announced Friday that it was promoting Mollenkopf to the CEO job at the wireless chipset maker. The news comes less than 24 hours after Bloomberg reported that Mollenkopf had emerged as a contender to replace outgoing Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500)CEO Steve Ballmer, who has announced plans to retire.

Qualcomm's rapid response to retain Mollenkopf comes as rumors continue to swirl about who will succeed Ballmer.

Mollenkopf, a 20-year veteran of Qualcomm (QCOM, Fortune 500), will take over for current CEO Paul Jacobs in March. Jacobs will stay with the company as executive chairman.

It's possible that Qualcomm acted so quickly to promote Mollenkopf because Bloomberg reported Thursday that he was under serious consideration for the Microsoft top spot, and that Microsoft's decision was going to be made by the end of the year.

With Mollenkopf staying at Qualcomm, the high profile rumored list of candidates to be Microsoft's new CEO include former Nokia (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop -- a Microsoft veteran that has returned to the company following Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile device business -- and Ford (F, Fortune 500) CEO Alan Mulally.

Read the full CNN article here

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U.S. Cites Rise in Health Plan Signups as Sebelius Testifies

WASHINGTON — The number of people selecting health insurance plans in the federal and state marketplaces increased last month at a brisk pace, bringing the overall figure to nearly 365,000, the Obama administration said on Wednesday. The November number was more than double the one for October, but still well below the administration’s goal.

The new enrollment data became available as Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, clashed again with Republicans at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Ms. Sebelius acknowledged that flaws in the federal website had “dampened enthusiasm” for the health care law and had deterred many people from enrolling. But she said that “evidence of the technical improvements to HealthCare.gov can be seen in the enrollment numbers,” which she described as “very positive.”

More than a quarter-million people picked health plans last month, and more than half of them were in state-run exchanges, the administration said in a report issued Wednesday. In the federal exchange, 110,400 people chose health plans last month, four times as many as in October, when many consumers were unable to see details of health plans because of problems with the federal website.

Read the full New York Times article here

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December 2013 HMT digital book


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