About 19,000 members and 16 current and former customers of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware were affected by a security breach involving subcontractors BCS Financial and Summit Reinsurance Services, according to the Delaware Department of Insurance. Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro said the department is investigating the incident, and he has "directed my staff to closely monitor the situation as it develops."
The Measure Applications Partnership, an HHS advisory partnership and a subgroup under the National Quality Forum, must focus on more streamlined clinical quality measures to improve patient care and quality outcomes and reduce provider workload, according to a letter sent to MAP co-chairs Charles Kahn and Harold Pincus by the American Hospital Association. The group cites the lack of EHR interoperability as a barrier for eCQMs collection and "urges restraint in adding or converting measures into eCQMs."
Growth in telemedicine use this year will be driven by its role in helping health care providers meet requirements for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, creating new health care delivery models and providing consumers with strategic pricing options, writes Ralph Derrickson, president and CEO of Carena. Derrickson cites the importance of increasing partnerships between telemedicine companies and medical educators to help providers get ready to meet demand for telemedicine.
ColdSense is an iPhone app developed by Zicam to help individuals assess their chances of getting the common cold. The app monitors a person's lifestyle and surrounding environment and "uses the latest in smartphone technology to provide an engaging and playful way to detect potential risk factors throughout cold season," said Lori Norian, Zicam's vice president of marketing.
Valerie Speirs, a professor of experimental pathology and oncology at the University of Leeds, and her colleagues have developed a free online prototype database that scientists can use to find and share tissues developed through animal research on breast cancer. "By facilitating a mechanism of sharing, leftover animal material may serve the wider research community at the conclusion of a project, saving researchers time and money, and providing scientists with new opportunities to broaden the impact of their work," Speirs writes.
A vaccine containing biobeads engineered to carry antigens from Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis on their surface induced cell-mediated immune responses in laboratory mice, researchers reported in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The research could lead to a new vaccine for tuberculosis.
Researchers increasingly share data across institutions in an effort to reduce testing on nonhuman primates and accelerate biomedical advances. Studies involving nonhuman primates have produced significant advances in fighting AIDS, Parkinson's and other diseases, and experts say data-sharing initiatives should reduce duplication, allow analysis of existing data for new purposes and increase transparency.
A study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research showed that patients' concerns about EHR security events didn't affect their willingness to share their health information electronically. Researchers analyzed data from the Health Information National Trends Survey from 2011 to 2014 and found that patients' perceptions of the quality of care somewhat reduced the odds that they would not share their health data, suggesting quality health care could help lessen patient concerns about the security of EHRs.
A BMC and Forbes Insights survey found 69% of C-suite executives believe digital transformation is fundamentally changing their organizations' security strategies, with 64% saying they intend to prioritize cybersecurity threat protection and response in 2017. Researchers also found that 82% of respondents said they would bolster security investments within the next 12 months.
Venture capital investments within the health IT industry increased from $4.6 billion across 574 deals in 2015 to $5.1 billion across 622 deals in 2016, according to Mercom Capital Group's annual Healthcare IT/Digital Health Funding and M&A Report. Mobile apps, telemedicine, wellness companies, wearable sensors, mobile wireless companies and data analytics were the top-funded areas, the report found.
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