MACRA: Big Changes

There’s a reason why the “Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA) is also called the “permanent doc fix”. MACRA permanently eliminates the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula (and its annual threat of physician payment cuts) and provides positive annual payment updates lasting through 2019. Right now, Medicare measures the value and quality of care…

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Privacy and Security in Healthcare: Why it’s More Important than Ever

The Situation It was in March 2016 when two California hospitals, Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino and Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville, were attacked by hackers demanding a ransom. And security experts are predicting more ransomware attacks to come in the immediate future. Let’s face it: Healthcare organizations are dealing with an alarmingly fast-growing…

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OCR Phase 2 Audits

About the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Audit Program The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun its next phase of audits of covered entities and their business associates. This is part of their ongoing efforts to assess compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy regulations which…

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ICD-10 grace period ends…

ICD-10 grace period ends, but it’s not the end of the world During the first year following ICD-10 implementation in October 2015, physician practices have had nearly a year to adapt themselves to ICD-10 coding. This grace period, also known as ICD-10 “relaxed rules”, notes that Medicare review contractors could not deny physicians’ claims if…

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MACRA Final Rule with Comment Period: What You Need to Know

On October 14th, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final Rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The goal is to improve the quality of healthcare by structuring the different value-based payment models that have replaced the traditional fee-for-service system. This rule finalizes policies to…

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Why Hackers and Ransomware Are the Top Threat to the Healthcare Industry

Based on the data from the first nine months of 2016, the number of ransomware attacks this year will be four times higher than last year, according to a study from Beazley, a data breach response insurance company. Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/10/26/430541.htm Healthcare organizations are more and more the targets of malicious hacker attacks. Ransomware, a type of malware, is clearly…

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