KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hacking Of Health Records Is ‘Matter Of Time,’ Say Experts

Specialists in cybercrime say the health industry "is flirting with disaster" as so much patient data goes digital, Politico reports. Also, speakers at a health care conference explore the difficulties of cutting waste and medical errors.

Politico: Big Cyber Hack Of Health Records Is 'Only A Matter Of Time'
The health world is flirting with disaster, say the experts who monitor crime in cyberspace. A hack that exposes the medical and financial records of tens of thousands of patients is coming, they say — it’s only a matter of when. As health data become increasingly digital and the use of electronic health records booms, thieves see patient records in a vulnerable health care system as attractive bait, according to experts interviewed by POLITICO. On the black market, a full identity profile contained in a single record can bring as much as $500 (Pittman, 7/1).

Politico: Waste, Errors In Health Care Remain Huge Issues, Experts Agree
Despite health care industry concerns about wasteful and unnecessary care, it’s nearly impossible for patients to overrule their doctors when they think they’re getting a procedure they don’t need, a prominent patient care advocate argued Tuesday. “I’ve had four unnecessary EKGs,” Daniel Wolfson, executive vice president of the ABIM Foundation, said at a POLITICO Pro Health Care breakfast briefing at the Newseum. “I think it’s an uphill battle for the patient to talk a physician out of a procedure.” Overtreatment and preventable medical errors are huge drivers of health care costs and lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths every year, but action to reverse both continues to lag, noted Leah Binder, CEO of The Leapfrog Group, a health safety advocate that represents employers (Cheney, 7/1).

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