Are Patient Privacy Rights Being Betrayed In Data Trades The Mayo Clinic Makes With Tech Companies?
The data is ''de-identified'', but ethics experts pose questions about a patient's rights to opt out and what, if anything, is owed to them. The trades help companies develop digital products and services and are worth about $5 million to the Mayo Clinic. Other technology news is on teleheath, new discussions about the future of national patient identifiers and phishing targeting WHO.
Mayo Clinic Patient Data Fuels AI Companies, And Consent Concerns
The patients of Mayo Clinic, whether they know it or not, have seeded a burgeoning digital health industry with their personal data. Details about their care, from disease diagnoses to digital tracings of their heartbeats, have been provided to companies for training artificial intelligence systems to detect dangerous arrhythmias, pregnancy complications, and deterioration in the hospital. (Ross, 6/3)
Providers Want More Telehealth Flexibility And Higher CMS Payments
Rather than stopping telehealth's momentum when the COVID-19 pandemic ends, provider groups want CMS to press forward by allowing more providers to take part in virtual care and boosting reimbursements for telehealth services. In their comments on CMS' emergency changes to the Medicare program, provider groups praised the agency for its unprecedented extension of telehealth benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they argued that the federal government should make permanent changes following the tectonic shift in telehealth during the past few months. (Brady, 6/2)
Telehealth Spending To Reach $250 Billion In 2020
Telehealth spending could grow to $250 billion a year as COVID-19 paves the way for virtual and remote care, according to new research.Telehealth is primed to expand beyond the typical virtual urgent care visit as the pandemic has become an essential testing ground for extending care by video or phone while mitigating contamination concerns. About 20% of all office, outpatient and home health expenses across Medicare, Medicaid and commercially insured populations could be converted to virtual care, amounting to $250 billion in telehealth spending in 2020, researchers from McKinsey & Co. noted in a new report. (Kacik, 6/2)
ONC Weighs Pros And Cons Of National Patient Identifier
Experts convened by HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology clashed over the role a national patient identifier could play in improving patient-matching among healthcare organizations. A national patient identifier—which would give patients permanent, unique identification numbers—has been banned by Congress for decades on account of privacy and security concerns, but the discussion has been reopened in recent years, in part due to pressure from health IT groups. (Cohen, 6/1)
Google Sees Resurgence In State-Backed Hacking, Phishing Related To COVID-19
Security experts at Alphabet Inc’s Google sent 1,755 warnings in April to users whose accounts were targets of government-backed attackers, following a resurgence in hacking and phishing attempts related to the coronavirus outbreak. Google said on Wednesday its Threat Analysis Group saw new activity from “hack-for-hire” firms, many based in India, that have been creating Gmail accounts spoofing the World Health Organization (WHO). (5/27)