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AI provides an urgent solution to evolving ransomware threats facing healthcare Print E-mail
Written by Evan Sweeney | Fierce Healthcare   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:00

Artificial intelligence that can quickly identify patterns of risky behavior may be the only viable solution to protect health systems against an influx of ransomware attacks.

The use of AI in the clinical environment has been well-documented as more health systems are turning to machine learning to improve oncology care, fight physician burnout, boost patient engagement and even reverse diabetes. But healthcare needs to use the power of machine learning to combat cybersecurity threats, according to a report (PDF) released by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.

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Last Updated on Friday, 17 March 2017 16:00
Trump Nominates Scott Gottlieb, MD, to Head FDA Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 13 March 2017 17:18

Toni Clarke reporting for Reuters on 3.10.17:

U.S. President Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a conservative health policy expert with deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry, to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the White House said on Friday.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 10 April 2017 16:49
Increasing evidence that sugar-sweetened beverage taxes work Print E-mail
Written by Aaron E. Carroll, MD, MS | Academy Health   
Thursday, 09 March 2017 00:00

In Mexico, not only did a sugar-sweetened beverage tax work, it appears to be working more as time goes on

I have written before about soda bans, and why I think they're somewhat misguided. There were loopholes to get around them, they arbitrarily focused on some size beverages, and they were somewhat haphazardly enforced. But I left myself open to the idea of a soda tax - which seems less forceful - and a number of governments have attempted them.

In last month's Health Affairs, researchers report on the effects of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax that had been in place for two years. Mexico implemented the 1 peso per liter excise tax in the beginning of 2014. This was in response to their own obesity epidemic, where about 70% of adults and 30% of children were overweight or obese by 2012.

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Last Updated on Monday, 13 March 2017 17:28
Boehner: Obamacare repeal and replace 'not what's going to happen' Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 27 February 2017 15:16

Terence Burlij, reporting for CNN on Fri., 2/24/17:

Former House Speaker John Boehner threw cold water Thursday on the prospect of congressional Republicans following through on their pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

"They'll fix Obamacare," the former Ohio congressman predicted at a conference hosted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Orlando, Florida. "I shouldn't have called it repeal and replace because that's not what's going to happen. They're basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it."

Read more in the curent issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 March 2017 08:34
Cyber Security in 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Friday, 24 February 2017 00:00

Phishing, spoofing, data breaches, ransomware and other scary digital stuff were among the topics at the South Florida Executive Forum (SFHEF) produced panel discussion held at the UHealth/Jackson campus last week (2/16/17). The featured speakers were:
  • Helenemarie Blake, Esq Chief Privacy & Data Security Officer and Assistant Vice President Compliance, Interim at University of Miami and U Health
  • Forest Blanton, Senior VP / Chief Information Officer, Memorial Healthcare System
  • Karl Norris, Founder and Architect of Duolark, LLC and Med-Detect
  • Matt Gracey, co-Founder and CEO of Danna-Gracey, an independent insurance agency specializing in insurance coverage for the healthcare industry
I had a chance to catch up with Matt Gracey immediately after the program. Below is a transcript of our chat:

JH  Cyber liability insurance was pretty obscure when you first started offering the product a few years back. Now, many data breaches later, how would you describe the market?

MG  The medical community seems to have awakened to the cyber risks much more recently. This follows and abundance of breaches and ransom issues for medical practitioners. Doctors and their administrators are finally realizing they are cyber targets not just hospitals and large healthcare entities. Patient records are some of the most sought after data for cyber criminals some the risks are rising rapidly. One study now says over 90% of medical practitioners have had their data breached in the last 24 months.

JH  One particularly nasty form of cyber crime is ransomware. A lot of providers just pay the ransom and move on. Is that a good idea? 

MG  Each situation is different so it all depends on the specific circumstances of the event. This is why healthcare providers need insurance coverage which allows the organization to get expert help in the event of a ransom demand.

JH  What's the biggest cyber threat to a health practice/facility?

•     The unemployed millennial living in his parent's basement
•     An East European criminal gang of hackers
•     A careless or dishonest employee

MG  Over 50% of breaches are caused by criminal hackers but the disgruntled employee or ex-employee as well as device theft/misplacement are also issues.

JH  Some doctors, solos and from small groups, have told me they don't need cyber insurance because the deep pocketed mega groups and hospitals are the real targets. Is that a valid argument against a cyber liability insurance purchase?

MG  This is the biggest misconception that we hear and is totally false. As the big guys get their defenses more improved, the smaller practices will be even harder hit since many are not keeping up with their systems.

JH  Twenty-six percent of U.S. consumers have had their personal medical information stolen from healthcare information systems, according to results of a new study from Accenture. This is mind-boggling. If you were running a medical practice or facility, what would be the three things you would do immediately to prevent this from happening to your patients?

MG  Get a comprehensive risk assessment, follow its findings and continually educate all of the doctors and employees in the practice.

The SFHEF will hold its next panel discussion March 16. You can learn more about that event here>>

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 March 2017 17:27
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