Avicenna Medical Blog

Care Management Weekly News Update 6/26/24

Posted by DeAnn Dennis on Wed, Jun 26, 2024 @ 11:45 AM

Crippling ransomware attacks against hospitals and health care providers are on the rise. These ruthless cyberattacks can take medical systems offline for weeks—canceling appointments and surgeries and causing harm to patients. Doctors and nurses are plunged into crisis situations where they resort to using pen and paper, while IT staff work to make systems safe and bring them back online. The recovery can be long-lasting and brutal.

The number of freestanding emergency rooms in the United States grew tenfold from 2001 to 2016, drawing attention for sending patients eye-popping bills. Most states allow them to operate, either by regulation or lack thereof. Some states, including Texas, have taken steps to regulate the centers, such as requiring posted notices identifying the facility as a freestanding emergency department. Urgent care centers are a more familiar option for many patients. Research shows that, on average, urgent care visits can be about 10 times cheaper than a low-acuity — or less severe — visit to an ER.

HHS finalized its final rule outlining disincentives for hospitals, health systems and clinicians blocking patient information exchange on June 24. Providers knowingly interfering or preventing patients from accessing medical information, EHR use, and information exchange will face penalties going forward.

A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ruled that guidance issued by the Biden administration that prohibits the use of third-party online tracking technologies on hospitals' public-facing web pages was unlawful. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Fort Worth, Texas sided with the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Health Resources and United Regional Health Care System in his ruling that found the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority with the 2022 guidance.


Tags: Weekly Industry News