Volume IV, Issue 1

Jan. 2, 2017
2016 A Banner Year for Security Breaches 
Marla Durben Hirsch reporting for Fierce Healthcare on 12/29/16:

Security breaches of electronic protected health information (ePHI) continue to plague the healthcare industry-and the trend shows no signs of abating.

More than 25 million patient records were reportedly compromised as of October 2016. And then, in November, the cases spiked: There were 57 health data breaches-the most in any one month this year, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer.

According to the article:

What's even more concerning is that inside employees were responsible for more than half of November's breaches, a notable increase from past months.

Many of the breaches are the garden-variety ones that the industry is familiar with, such as theft of a portable device.

... this year the industry is also seeing more breaches due to hacking and malware, which brings a more sinister criminal element to the breaches. It's also seeing new, unanticipated ways that electronic records can be placed at risk in ways that may have more far-reaching implications.
OIG Issues Report on Medicare's '2-Midnight Hospital Rule' 
Emily J. Cook, Sandra M. DiVarco & Christine Parkins Johnson, in a 12/29/16 MWE.com post, analyze OIG's recent report on Medicare's '2-Midnight Hospital Rule'.

According to the authors:

The OIG concluded that although the number of inpatient stays decreased and the number of outpatient stays increased-both goals of the 2-Midnight Rule- Medicare paid nearly $2.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2014 for potentially inappropriate short inpatient stays. The OIG recommended that CMS should improve oversight of hospital billing. Specifically, the OIG recommended that CMS (1) conduct routine analysis of hospital billing, focusing reviews on hospitals with high or increasing numbers of short inpatient stays that are potentially inappropriate; (2) identify and target for review short inpatient stays; (3) analyze the potential effects of adding time spent as an outpatient to the three-night requirement for skilled nursing facility (SNF) services; (4) assess ways of protecting beneficiaries who have had an outpatient stay from paying more than they would have as an inpatient.
One year later: A physician's letter to Medicare patients
Rebekah Bernard, MD in a 12/28/16 KevinMD post:

Dear patients,

One year ago, I wrote to you about my concerns for the future of my practice in light of upcoming changes to the Medicare system. I explained my anxiety about the Medicare Access and CHIPS Reauthorization Act (MACRA), a change in fee structure from fee-for-service (I treat you in the office, submit the bill to Medicare, and they pay the bill), to "value-based" payment (I treat you in the office, submit the bill to Medicare, and they decide if my care provided adequate value to warrant payment).

According to Dr. Bernard:

I have decided to opt-out of Medicare, acknowledging that I can no longer play a game that is rigged against me; one that I can never win because of constantly changing rules, and one where the stakes include fines and even potential jail time.

And in leaving the current broken system, I will take my chances in a brave new world that hopes to return to the foundation of medicine: the physician-patient relationship.



About Us
Florida Health Industry Week in Review is published every Monday by FHIcommunications

Each Monday morning we share the top healthcare headlines of the previous week and summarize What Happened (WH) and Why It Matters (WIM).

To learn how you can join our team of editorial contributors, contact Jeffrey Herschler.
Publisher of...

Week in Review,
Specialty Focus,
Updates in Pediatrics, FHIweekly &
Game Changers

Inside FloridaHealthIndustry.com

FHI logo cropped small version