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Healthcare News

 

Fitbit, Apple user data exposed in breach impacting 61M fitness tracker records

9/13/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
An unsecured database containing over 61 million records related to fitness trackers and wearables exposed Apple and Fitbit users' data online.


Researchers with WebsitePlanet and security researcher Jeremiah Fowler discovered a non-password-protected database that contained tens of millions of records belonging to fitness tracking and wearable devices and apps. The unsecured database belonged to GetHealth, which offers a unified solution to access health and wellness data from hundreds of wearables, medical devices and apps, according to a WebsitePlanet report posted Monday.


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Majority of hospitals stumbled on public health reporting before the strain of a global pandemic

9/13/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. hospitals had a hard time reporting public health information to authorities.


Seventy-one percent of hospital leaders surveyed in early 2020 said they experienced at least one challenge when attempting to electronically report to public health agencies during 2019, according to a recent data brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).


What's more, about 19% of hospitals indicated that they experienced three or more challenges throughout the year.


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Beaumont Health, Spectrum Health Formalize Healthcare Merger Plans

9/9/2021


( Rev Cycle Intelligence )
Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health have finalized their healthcare merger plan with a formal integration agreement and have committed to providing accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare to Michiganders across the state.


The two health systems announced the merger plan and signed a letter of intent in June 2021. Once the state and federal regulatory review processes are complete, the organizations will launch their new health system, temporarily named BHSH System.


BHSH System would include 22 hospitals with more than 64,000 team members from the two health systems.


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2022 CPT Code Set Released, Streamlines Medical Coding for COVID-19

9/7/2021


( Rev Cycle Intelligence )
The new 2022 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set aims to streamline medical coding and documentation of COVID-19 vaccinations, among other updates.


The code set released today by the American Medical Association (AMA) provides an annual update to CPT codes, including the addition of new codes developing during the COVID-19 pandemic. AMA reported that the 2022 CPT code set incorporates 12 vaccine-specific codes that “are the model for efficiently reporting and tracking immunizations and administrative services against the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).”


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AMA releases more than 400 CPT code changes for 2022 to align with new tech services

9/7/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
The American Medical Association released updates to its medical codes for 2022 with many tied to new technology services and the administration of COVID-19 vaccines.


The AMA made 405 changes in the 2022 Current Procedural Terminology code set, including 249 new codes, 63 deletions and 93 revisions. The changes will take effect Jan. 1. 


The CPT code set for 2022 incorporates a series of 15 vaccine-specific codes that are the model for efficiently reporting and tracking immunizations and administrative services against the coronavirus, the organization said.


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Experts say adding dental coverage to Medicare won't trigger major shift away from Medicare Advantage

9/7/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
One of the most common benefits Medicare Advantage offers could go away if Democrats succeed in adding dental coverage to traditional Medicare, but experts say the impact on enrollment could be negligible due to the variety of other MA benefits.


Nevertheless, the insurance industry is still worried about how exactly the benefit change would affect MA payments.


Congressional Democrats are hoping to add dental, vision and hearing benefits to traditional Medicare as part of a $3.5 trillion infrastructure package. Dental coverage is a popular benefit offered by MA plans, as recent data show that 94% of MA enrollees are in plans with access to dental coverage.


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Cyberattacks against outpatient, specialty clinics on the rise as data breaches double from 2018

9/1/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
Healthcare data breaches are not only on the rise, but they are also spreading like a virus from hospitals to smaller provider facilities.


Healthcare breaches have nearly doubled since 2018 and continued to climb through the first half of 2021, according to a report by Critical Insight, a Seattle-based healthcare-focused cybersecurity firm.


The neighborhood family clinic down the street is no longer safe.


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Expect a surge in employer vaccine mandates, Willis Towers Watson survey says

9/1/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
A growing number of employers are rolling out some kind of COVID-19 vaccine mandate as they grapple with reopening worksites amid a surge of cases due to the delta variant.


A survey from Willis Towers Watson, conducted between Aug. 15-26 of 961 employers representing 9.7 million workers, found that 52% of employers could have a mandate in place by the fourth quarter. Their plans range from requiring vaccines to use common areas like cafeterias to requiring certain groups of employees to get vaccinated to requiring vaccines for all workers.


That represents a significant increase from the 21% that had such mandates in place this summer, the survey shows.


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Hospitals to face new emission goals, and potential penalties for noncompliance, under new HHS office

8/30/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aims to roll out new requirements for hospitals and health systems to cut greenhouse gas emissions and could potentially levy penalties to facilities for failing to do so.


HHS announced Monday the creation of the new Office of Climate Change and Health Equity tasked with taking on the health impacts of climate change and its effects such as extreme weather. The new office plans to roll out specific goals for emissions levels at hospitals at a later date.


HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters that the agency would like to work with hospitals to tackle their climate change impact, but he did not shy away from using any existing authorities to force hospitals to comply.


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Providers push Congress to include value-based care bill in $3.5T infrastructure package

8/25/2021


(FierceHealthcare)
As Congress starts drafting a massive $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, a collection of provider groups is making a case for value-based care legislation to be included.


Twelve hospital and physician groups wrote a letter to key House and Senate committee leaders Tuesday asking for the Value in Health Care Act to be included in the package. The legislation, which seeks to boost incentives for providers to participate in payment models, would save nearly $300 million and could be a key selling point to Democrats searching for ways to pay for the package.


“As lawmakers look for offsets or ways to fund the estimated $3.5 trillion new spending in the reconciliation bill, the Value Act provides an avenue to both lower Medicare spending and advance policy to improve our fragmented health system,” said Clif Gaus, president and CEO of the National Association of ACOs, in a statement.


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