The last time documentation on the Health and Human Services (“HHS”) website outlining technical compliance with HIPAA was updated, it was 2006 — a time when mobile apps simply did not exist as they do today.
This is why Reps. Tom Marino (R-Penn.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) have reached out to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to inquire about updates and guidance regarding mHealth apps and mHealth technology.
“We support the privacy protections provided by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), and we recognize that oversight of highly sensitive personal medical info1mation is an important role for HHS,” the letter reads. “In order to make sure that mobile health apps and other companies can in good faith comply with these important protections, we ask that HHS provide clear, easily accessible and up to date regulatory guidance for HIPAA compliance with regard to new technologies.”
Posted in mHealth, Mobile App, Regulation
This week at Health 2.0, INetU — a customer-centric cloud company – showed off its new HIPAA Compliance Dashboard to those in attendance at the conference.
Ahead of the demonstration, mHealthWatch caught up with David Fowler, VP of Marketing at INetU, to discuss his company’s latest offering and the role INetU looks to play in the healthcare space moving forward.
“INetU has over 17 years of experience hosting HIPAA compliant applications and has invested considerably to help healthcare software solution providers comply with all facets of the regulations when it comes to application hosting,” Fowler tells mHealthWatch. “By relying on the INetU cloud environment, healthcare solution providers can more quickly ensure HIPAA compliance without having to outlay huge capital investments in technology and internal expertise. Furthermore, the trained experts at INetU can act as trusted advisors in understanding new requirements and preparing for architectural changes that could help limit local access to data.”
Posted in Healthcare IT, mHealth, Regulation
The following is a guest contributed post from Dr. Nick van Terheyden, Nuance CMIO.
Over the weekend, CMS announced that the Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadline will be extended through 2016 in order to offer more options and greater flexibility to providers for the certified use of EHRs. In the interest of full disclosure, I found the timing to be strange— a rule published over a holiday weekend seems an odd choice, particularly when it is being touted as a benefit to the industry and the impact on healthcare provider organizations and clinicians, alike, is monumental.
Unfortunately, I think the additional flexibility allotted by this rule is the latest example of the unintended consequences of health IT regulations. In an effort to make things easier and give healthcare providers more leeway, they have, in fact, made the situation unnecessarily more complex.
Posted in Healthcare, Regulation, Technology
ACT | The App Association — an organization consisting of some 5,000 small- to mid-size app developers and IT firms – has written a letter to Congress asking for a new version of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
According to Mddionline, ACT is asking in their letter for the Department of Health and Human Services to “reexamine how health privacy laws are implemented and to remove obstacles that keep innovative mobile technologies from quickly reaching the market.”
Posted in Healthcare, Regulation
The following is a guest contributed post from Dr. Girija Yegnanarayanan, Director of Applied Research and Clinical Language Understanding at Nuance Communications.
Most everyone is familiar with the famous nursery rhyme line “Eeny, meeny, miney, moe/Catch a tiger by the toe,” recited by children looking for a way to select who will be “it” for a game. The undergirding principle of this ditty is selecting one over another, whether that be “eeny, miny, or moe.” This process is not unlike what can occur in the classification assignment when converting from the ICD-9 to ICD-10 code set. Important details can be lost in translation.
Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare IT, Regulation
As recently profiled by Fierce Mobile Healthcare, all wireless carriers and certain texting applications will be required to support text-to-911 functionality by the end of 2014, per the rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission last week.
The rules state that if any call center requests text-to-911, providers will comply within six months. Wireless providers must send automatic reply messages instructing consumers to call 911 in areas without text-to-911 functionality.
The FCC says that 48 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing and 7.5 million have speech disabilities, so this will give consumers more options for emergency outreach.
Posted in Regulation, Smartphones
The following is a guest contributed post from Bonnie Cassidy, Senior Director of HIM Innovation and Nuance Communications.
In its latest news, CMS announced that Oct. 1, 2015 is the ‘new’ final ICD-10 compliance date. “ICD-10 codes will provide better support for patient care, and improve disease management, quality measurement and analytics,” argues CMS in its July 31 announcement. I could not agree more!
My advice is stay positive, nimble and be wise by reading between the lines. Much has been said about the politics and jockeying of groups behind the scenes, lobbying either for or against ICD-10. That’s not going to change. Our current administration in Washington, DC has been riddled with constant criticism and commentary scandals and may view the transition to ICD-10 as risky. All healthcare providers must be proactive and plan for ICD-10 compliance, while also being agile enough in their planning to realize that another course correction may lie ahead.
Posted in Regulation, Technology