News Feature | February 6, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — February 6, 2014

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson


In the news, the CCHIT announces it will no longer offer testing and certification for ONC, a study reveals security incidents cost healthcare organizations $1.6 billion each year, the OIG wants CMS to do more to identify and investigate EHR fraud, and the ONC is seeking applicants for membership on its Health IT Standards Committee and Health IT Policy Committee.

CCHIT No Longer Offers Testing, Certification For ONC

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) has announced it will stop offering testing and certification services for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). A Healthcare IT News article reports the CCHIT, instead, “will work toward increased IT interoperability by counseling providers and developers on certified EHR requirements.” The decision was due, in part, to the unpredictable federal testing timeline. CCHIT continues administering The Source, the ONC testing and certification preparation service, and recommends ICSA Labs in Mechanicsburg, PA, to maintain certification or for new testing.

Study Reveals Healthcare IT Security Incidents Total $1.6 Billion

MeriTalk, a public private partnership focused on improving outcomes of health and government IT, announced results of its report “Rx: ITaaS (IT-as-a-Service) + Trust.” The report is based on a survey of healthcare IT executives and quantifies the cost associated with security incidents — including breaches, data loss, and unplanned IT outages — at more than $1.6 billion per year. The report states 61 percent of global healthcare organizations have experienced a security incident at least once in the past year. Among those organizations, 19 percent experienced a security breach, with the most common causes listed as malware and viruses, outside attacks, loss or theft of equipment, and user error. Data loss is reported by 28 percent, and unplanned outages are reported by 40 percent.

OIG Wants CMS To Do More To Identify, Investigate EHR Fraud

An Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report states the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has failed to identify and investigate EHR fraud— which could total from $75 billion to $250 billion in losses. A Healthcare IT Outcomes article explains the fraud is based in copy and paste (transferring information from a patient's record multiple times without updating it or confirming its accuracy) and over-documentation (adding false irrelevant information to bill at a higher level of service.) The OIG says guidance to identify these types of fraud is too limited, and recommends the use of audit logs for investigations.

ONC Seeking Members For Standards, Policy Committees

ONC is requesting applications for membership to its Federal Advisory Committees (FACAs):  Health IT Standards Committee (HITSC) and Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC). Applicants with the expertise in the following areas are encouraged to apply for membership with the HITSC: consumer/patient representative, technical expertise, electronic exchange, and technical expertise, quality. The HITPC is seeking applicants with expertise for the expiring term for public health representative.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule this week to enable laboratories to release results to a patient or a patient’s personal representative. Patients can continue to obtain results through their doctors, but also have a new option to get access to these reports.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.