The number of ransomware attacks worldwide has climbed 20 percent in the last two months, and 93 percent in the past year, according to a June release from Check Point Research.
In the face of a global health crisis that called for limiting close, in-person contact, it's not surprising telemedicine has enjoyed skyrocketing popularity in 2020.
"Patient Portals are continuing to evolve, like all medical software," says Jimmy Chapman, president of MedConnect, which makes the EHR distributed by MediSYS in Alabama. "Portals will change communication between physicians and patients."
"It's so easy to get it," says Curtis Woods with Integrated Solutions in Birmingham about ransomware. One specialist practice in Birmingham has been hit three times. Another local practice lost access to 400,000 files for more than a day from an attack.
The Joint Commission recently announced a change in its policies whereby it will now allow providers to communicate patient orders via text message. The policy applies to all Joint Commission accreditation programs.
On the Health and Human Services website, a section posts every healthcare organization since 2009 whose patient data covering 500 or more individuals has been breached. Each page of this “Wall of Shame” lists 100 organizations. As of June 15, the list runs 1,249 pages long.
"Compliance with HIPAA and HITECH is not about whether your IT is working, but if your patient data is at risk. It's kind of an invisible issue," says Thomas Kane with Keep IT Simple. "Unless you know what you're looking for, you could be non-compliant."
As covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), healthcare providers are intimately familiar with the strict privacy and security requirements imposed on them by HIPAA and the importance of full compliance.
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