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U.S. National Health IT Week

This week is U.S. National Health IT Week (NHIT Week). Founded by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Institute for e-Health Policy in 2006, NHIT Week celebrates and promotes awareness of the role of health IT in transforming healthcare throughout the country.

During NHIT Week, consumers, providers, payers and health IT vendors are encouraged to coordinate and collaborate in their efforts to improve healthcare efficiency, quality, cost-effectiveness and patient safety through health IT.


HHS Declares Public Health Emergencies in Advance of Hurricane Florence

In preparation for Hurricane Florence, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex M. Azar, has declared public health emergencies in both North Carolina and South Carolina. These emergency declarations will provide greater flexibility for HHS to address the health care needs of people who will be impacted by the impending storm. (more…)


Back to the Drawing Board for PH-MCO Procurement

It looks like Pennsylvania will be heading back to the drawing board in the Physical Health Managed Care Organization (PH-MCO) procurement process. That’s because in April 2018, Commonwealth Courtruled in favor of the bidders protesting the contract award process; Aetna, United HealthCare and Vista Health Plan. The three insurers had filed suit challenging that (more…)


The Legal Wrangling over Aetna’s HIV Data Breach Continues

In January, Aetna settled two suits stemming from a high-profile breach of HIV data. Aetna’s breach of Super Protected Data which occurred when the insurer sent letters to roughly 12,000 members that exposed their HIV status. The letters were processed and mailed by KCC, a company Aetna had contracted with to notify the same consumers about the settlement of two class action lawsuits (more…)


Pennsylvania Continues Efforts to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Pennsylvania continues to take steps to address the opioid epidemic by focusing on removing barriers to treatment. In late 2016, the state began implementing its Centers of Excellence program, with the goal of coordinating care for individuals with opioid use disorders and co-occurring behavioral and/or physical health conditions. Originally twenty centers were funded, with twenty-five additional centers implemented several months later. (more…)


Cyber Safety when Traveling

Knowing how to stay safe online shouldn’t be restricted to your home or office. You should practice good cyber hygiene while traveling, too. This will keep your mobile devices safe, and it will help ensure you don’t bring any unwanted malware or viruses back into your home or work environment. Here are a few simple tips you can follow to stay safe when traveling. (more…)


Through an Open Window: Aetna’s Super Protected Data Breach and its Aftermath

Most HIPAA breaches making headlines these days are the result of ransomware or cyberattacks. But, Aetna has been embroiled in controversy recently due to a HIPAA breach involving snail mail. The breach touches on several issues, including the type of data breached, the way that data was breached, and the multiple organizations and various ways in which the data may have been mishandled along the way. (more…)