More Digital Data Equals More Risk Of Breaches

The New York Times reports that, as more patient data become digital, the risk of breaches increases.

The New York Times: Digital Data On Patients Raises Risk Of Breaches
So began a nightmare that cost Mr. Tripathi's small nonprofit health consultancy nearly $300,000 in legal, private investigation, credit monitoring and media consultancy fees. Not to mention 600 hours dealing with the fallout and the intangible cost of repairing the reputational damage that followed (Perlroth, 12/18).

Meanwhile, news outlets in Georgia and Kansas report on other health technology developments.

Georgia Health News: Online Records – A Medical Revolution
Georgia is rapidly building its health IT infrastructure. Currently, in Macon and Savannah and elsewhere in the state, doctors, clinics and hospitals are connected in a health information exchange so patient records can be transmitted across town. Georgia is building a statewide exchange, fueled with a $13 million federal grant. It will be a pathway to securely transmit health information among physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, imaging centers, and other medical sites. The goals are to improve the quality of patient care and lower health costs (Miller, 12/16).

Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas Hospitals Face Further Delay On Medicaid HIT Payments
Another delay by state officials means Kansas doctors and hospitals that implemented electronic health records in 2011 will not be able to apply this year for the Medicaid incentive payments earmarked by the federal government to promote the health information technology. But federal officials have agreed to extend through January 2012 the hospitals' deadline for applying for the 2011 bonus payments, a state Medicaid official said. Diane Davidson of the Division of Health Care Finance at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the agency won't launch the website where providers will be able to apply for the payments until Jan. 9 (Cauthon, 12/16).

Kansas Health Institute News: Kansas REC Hits First Goal For Moving Doctors To Electronic Health Records
The regional extension center created nearly two years ago to help Kansas health care providers implement electronic health records has reached its goal of signing up at least 1,200 "Priority Primary Care Providers." The Kansas Regional Extension Center (REC) received federal funding to assist providers who work in small practices, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers or other settings that serve the medically underserved (12/16).

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