On February 9, 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Fact Sheet providing a Public Health Emergency (PHE) Transition Roadmap. DHHS Secretary Xavier Becerra confirmed that the PHE would end on May 11, 2023. Below are a few items from the Fact Sheet. Access this link to view the Fact Sheet in entirety: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2023/02/09/fact-sheet-covid-19-public-health-emergency-transition-roadmap.html
On Monday, January 30, 2023, President Joe Biden announced that the public health emergency (PHE) will end on May 11, 2023. There will be many changes as a result of the PHE ending. One in particular will be the delivery, coding and billing of telehealth services. CMS had expanded telehealth benefits temporarily during the PHE through the Corona Virus Waiver 1135. There is a 151-day transition period, after the end of the PHE, for the required changes to take place.
The need for access to additional behavioral health services is a known issue. Tele-behavioral health has become one of the go-to solutions in responding to the access issue. Recently, the parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, Point32Health, announced a partnership with Valera Health to provide increased access to their patients. “Valera Health provides adult and pediatric behavioral health patients access to therapists and psychiatrists through telehealth. The organization covers 37 million Americans through partnerships with more than 20 health plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial plans across several states.”
St. Luke’s Health reported a data breach involving almost 17,000 patients, as a result of a hack into a third-party vendor’s email system. Two employees of the vendor had their email accounts hacked which lead to the breach of personally identifiable information, diagnoses, and other elements of PHI.
It is vital to ensure that third-party vendors who have access to your PHI/PII are fully vetted from a HIPAA Security & Privacy perspective.
August 29, 2022
Companies handling patient data on behalf of healthcare providers and insurers – known as business associations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – accounted for 14.5% of the healthcare breathes reported in the first half of 2022, but 22.9% of compromised records, according to a report from cybersecurity company Critical Insight.
July 1, 2022
The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued a warning to employers that stolen Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Deepfakes are being used by bad actors to apply for remote work and work-from-home positions. The types of positions being targeted by these bad actors include: information technology and computer programming, database, and software related job functions. If hired, these bad actors could have “access to customer PII, financial data, corporate IT databases and/or proprietary information.”
In the face of such an unprecedented storm in the form of a pandemic, the need for information sharing, collaboration and rapid system development took on new urgency. There are truly remarkable examples globally of healthcare providers’ agility and innovation.
AI, augmented reality, biomedical sensors and beyond – by mapping out a clear vision now, we can widen our ambitions and improve modernization strategies to better harness the vast potential offered by technology advances.