30 June 2016

Orland Park Man Finds Relief After Complex Robotic Hernia Surgery

Original Story: theherald-news.com

Years ago Orland Park resident John Jawor was diagnosed with a benign tumor on his pancreas. After the growth was surgically removed, scar tissue developed and the abdominal tissue was weakened, developing a painful tear over time that progressively enlarged. A lump became visible, growing larger than a walnut.

Jawor consulted his primary care doctor, who referred him to see general surgeon Dr. Thomas Vasdekas. Dr. Vasdekas recommended robotic hernia surgery at the Midwest Institute of Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross Hospital. More robotic surgeries are performed at Silver Cross than any other hospital or surgery center in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Jawor is now pain free and the hernia is gone. “I am so grateful to Dr.Vasdekas for repairing my hernia and the great nursing staff at Silver Cross for making my entire experience so pleasant,” said the 63-year old. “Not only was my recovery quick, I was able to return to work much sooner.”

A hernia occurs when an organ or scar tissue pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. Hernia surgery is one of the most common general surgical procedures performed in the U.S.

“In John’s case, his prior surgery made his abdomen wall weak causing scar tissue that eventually created a very large hernia, which was actually comprised of five small hernias,” said Dr.Vasdekas, board certified general surgeon on staff at Silver Cross. “By completing the surgery using the da Vinci robot, a less invasive technique was used to insert a large piece of mesh to repair the hernia. In addition, robotic surgery far surpasses any other surgical approach because it greatly enhances the surgeon’s ability to visualize tissue allowing for more flexibility to make repairs in tighter spaces.

“Robotic surgery offers complex cases, like John’s, many potential benefits over traditional open surgery, including minimal blood loss, less scarring, shorter hospital stay, low risk of complications and a faster recovery,” said Dr. Vasdekas.

28 June 2016

Hundreds Arrested For $900 Million Worth Of Health Care Fraud

Original Story: cnn.com

The Justice Department announced Wednesday it's charging hundreds of individuals across the country with committing Medicare fraud worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A hernia doctor said it is the largest he has ever seen.

It's the largest takedown in history -- both in terms of the number of people charged and the loss amount, according to the Justice Department.
The majority of the cases being prosecuted involve separate fraudulent billings to Medicare, Medicaid or both for treatments that were never provided.
In one case, a Detroit clinic that was actually a front for a narcotics diversion scheme billed Medicare for more than $36 million, the Justice Department said. A Connecticut medicare lawyer may be contacted.

A doctor in Texas has been charged with participating in schemes to bill Medicare for "medically unnecessary home health services that were often not provided."
And in Florida, the owner of several infusion clinics is accused by the federal government of defrauding medicare out of over $8 million for a scheme involving the reimbursement for expensive intravenous drugs that were never actually purchased and never given to patients.
"Health care fraud is not an abstract violation or benign offense. It is a serious crime," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. "They target real people -- many of them in need of significant medical care. They promise effective cures and therapies, but they provide none. Above all, they abuse basic bonds of trust -- between doctor and patient; between pharmacist and doctor; between taxpayer and government -- and pervert them to their own ends."

The defendants are charged with a numerous crimes, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, violations of anti-kickback statutes, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.
The numbers from the case are staggering.
The Justice Department says that 301 people across the country have been charged with about $900 million in false billing -- both records for the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which carried out the "unprecedented nationwide sweep."
"These criminals target the most vulnerable in our society by taking money away from the care of the elderly, children and disabled," said FBI Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich.
Defendants in Florida are charged with carrying out more than $200 million worth of fraud, while individuals in California, Texas and Michigan are charged with committing more than $100 million worth of fraud in each state. Many of a San Diego health care fraud lawyer are reviewing these cases.

The strike force, part of a joint initiative between the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Service, was formed in 2007. To date it has carried out takedowns resulting in more than 1,000 people being charged with committing over $3.5 billion in health care fraud.

Home health fraud
Much of the fraud involved home health care agencies -- and those types of services have been identified as particularly vulnerable to fraud, according to the HHS Department's inspector general.
Medicare home health benefit covers skilled nursing care, home-based assistance and therapeutic services for qualifying individuals who are home-bound.
In conjunction with the arrests, the HHS inspector general released a study saying that more than $10 billion was made in improper payments in home health care in the 2015 financial year.
"Home health has long been recognized as a program area vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse," it said. "Home health fraud in Medicare continues to warrant scrutiny and attention."
It also identified 27 so-called "hotspots" in 12 places where it believes home health care fraud is committed more often.  With more than one Los Angeles health care lawyer staying on top of the story it is no wonder why this is getting so much publicity.

Part D fraud
Lynch said one of the new trends law enforcement noticed was fraud involving the Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program.
"We saw new evidence of identity theft, including the use of stolen doctors' IDs to prepare fake prescriptions," she said.
More than 60 of those who were arrested were charged with fraud related to Part D, according to the Justice Department.
The HHS inspector general's office said that one in three Part D beneficiaries received commonly abused opioids last year, a trend it called concerning.
"Misuse of opioids not only has serious financial costs but also human costs, including deaths from overdoses," HHS said. "These continuing high rates provide further evidence of this crisis facing our Nation."

Nation's biggest healthcare fraud probe nets 301 people, including 22 in Southern California

Original Story: latimes.com

Several doctors, a psychiatrist and a pharmacist were among 22 people in Southern California charged as part of a nationwide investigation into federal healthcare fraud schemes that frequently targeted military families and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, the U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday. A hernia doctor was not believed to be part of the case.

The investigation resulted in the largest such enforcement action in U.S. history, netting more than 300 people nationwide and involving more than $900 million in fraudulent billings, officials said.

In Southern California, five physicians were among those arrested in cases involving $125 million in elaborate fraud schemes that targeted Medicare and the military’s medical plan and involved medical billing, unnecessary procedures and high-priced specialized compound medications. A St Louis medical malpractice defense lawyer may need to be consulted.

The charges in 13 criminals cases filed in federal courts in Los Angeles and Santa Ana include conspiracy, money laundering, kickback schemes and identity theft, according to several federal indictments.

“Those charged in cases unsealed this week include one doctor who allegedly performed medically unnecessary procedures at his offices in Temecula and Mira Loma. And he submitted nearly $12 million in bills to Medicare,” U.S. Atty. Eileen M. Decker said.

That physician was named in the federal charges as Dr. Donald Woo Lee. The 50-year-old physician is accused of performing unnecessary vein procedures on patients even when they had no signs of varicose veins. A Chicago medical malpractice lawyer said this is a clear case of wrongdoing.

The other doctors charged are David Michael Jensen, 65, of Whittier; Kain Kumar, 52, of Encino; Sang Kim, 67, of Porter Ranch and Samuel Albert, 81, of Laguna Beach.

None of the physicians could be reached for comment.
Most losses in Southern California are tied to five cases involving compounding pharmacies, which combine different medications into one drug, Decker said. The scams are orchestrated by marketers known as “cappers,” who recruit patients and sometimes use their identity to obtain government medical funding.

Decker said compounding pharmacies were provided with scores of prescriptions, generally for pain medications, that carried huge reimbursements, often more than $15,000 for each prescription.

The prescriptions were written for “patients” who, in many cases, did not want the medicines, had never met the prescribing doctors or had no idea why they were receiving the medications,  Decker said.

Tricare, the military’s managed care program, was the primary target of schemes involving the compounding pharmacies, Decker said. “Prescriptions were written for profit rather than to treat the patient,” Decker said. A Charlotte medical malpractice lawyer would not comment on the case.

One marketer John Garbino, 46, of Dana Point, was charged with receiving illegal kickbacks. A Palmdale pharmacy working with Garbino allegedly received more than $46 million from Tricare in a six-month period ending in May 2015, court records show.

In another scheme, Dr. David Michael Jensen, 65, of Whittier, owner a La Mirada pharmacy Valley View Drugs Inc., was indicted along with two marketers on charges of paying and receiving illegal kickbacks.

Health insurers paid the pharmacy more than $20 million, and the pharmacy paid nearly half of that to companies associated with the marketers, according to the indictment.

“Patients were pawns in an alleged pay-for-play fraud scheme,” California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said. A Knoxville medical malpractice defense lawyer was ready to take on new clients.

Anthony J. Orlando, acting special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit,  said in one scheme the proceeds were laundered using a carwash, a plumbing business and an escrow company.

Most of those charged in Southern California were arrested Monday and Tuesday. Several turned themselves in to authorities.

Two others remain at large and are believed to be overseas, officials said.

21 June 2016

Persian Gulf War Veterans Still Suffering Serious Health Problems

Original Story:  huffingtonpost.com

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Persian Gulf War.

It was fought in late 1990 through early 1991 by a U.S.-led coalition of 34 countries against Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Was there a problem with a chemical storage tank leaking?

It also was the first U.S. war to be waged after the advent of the 24-hour cable television news cycle.

The conflict was accompanied by memorably intense and round-the-clock coverage on CNN.

But there’ve been few recognitions of the war’s 25-year milestone on the cable news networks, let alone in broadcast or print media.

For David Winnett, a Gulf War combat veteran who climbed the ranks from private to captain during his 20-year career in the U.S. Marines, it’s just the latest in a succession of insults to the men and women who served in this largely forgotten war.  This may need the services of a Los Angeles Toxic Torts Lawyer.

“It’s no surprise that many people could easily forget ‘our war.’ It was far too fast by any historical measure,” Winnett told Healthline. “Perhaps things would be different had we continued our advance all the way to Baghdad, but the fact is, we didn’t. So regardless of whether or not we think our war has been unfairly set aside in the history books, it is what it is.”

Toxic Aftermath

While ground combat in the Persian Gulf War only lasted days, Winnett said, the toxic legacy of the war has been just as devastating for the postwar health of Gulf War veterans as the defoliant Agent Orange has been for those who served in Vietnam.

Winnett is just one of hundreds of thousands of Gulf War vets who suffer from Gulf War Illness (GWI), also known as Gulf War Syndrome, the panoply of chronic and often debilitating symptoms reported by veterans of that conflict.

The acute symptoms, which for many veterans never go away, include extreme fatigue, neurological issues, insomnia, migraines, joint pain, persistent coughing, gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and constipation, skin problems, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.

The National Academy of Sciences estimates that as many as 250,000 of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the Persian Gulf War have been affected by GWI, which studies have shown is the result of a litany of toxic exposures that troops like Winnett endured while serving.

Troops were exposed to toxic smoke from the fires of thousands of military burn pits in the war zone. The fires involved tires and other things that contain harmful chemicals.

There was also sarin and other toxic chemicals dropped on U.S. troops.

Two peer reviewed scientific research studies released in 2012 concluded that weather patterns carried massive toxic chemical cloud that fell on U.S. troops. The cloud was created by the U.S. bombing of Iraqi chemical weapon storage facilities

The first study concluded that nerve and blister agents, which were supplied to Iraq by the U.S. before the Gulf War when Hussein was an uncomfortable ally, were bombed by U.S. forces. The toxic substances were swept into the atmosphere and subsequently dropped on U.S. troops.

The second study confirmed the number of GWI reports was in fact higher at the places where the sarin fell.

“Our peer reviewed scientific findings bring us full circle by confirming what most soldiers believed when they heard the nerve gas alarms. The alarms were caused by sarin fallout from our bombing of Iraqi weapons sites,” James Tuite, who led the first study, said in a statement.

The VA’s Position

Despite the scientific evidence and a mandate from Congress that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognize several of the symptoms as connected to service in the Gulf War, the VA maintains that there are no definitive scientific studies that link symptoms and diseases associated with GWI to toxic exposures during the war.

According to a 2015 report, about 80 percent of Gulf War veterans who file disability claims citing presumptive chronic multisymptom illnesses connected to toxic exposures are denied by the VA.

A written statement from the VA’s Post-Deployment Health Services team to Healthline stated that in the past few years the VA has “ramped up educational efforts to VA providers on Gulf War Illness.” However, the statement read, “there are times when referral to a psychiatrist is indicated due to a co-morbid condition such as severe depression or another severe mental health condition.”

In another email to Healthline, VA officials said a claim could be denied for a number of reasons, including the belief an ailment was caused by something other than military service or the ailment could be “less than 10 percent disabling.”

Most often, say multiple sources for this story, veterans who say they have these symptoms are sent to the psychiatric departments of VA centers, where they are typically given psychotropic drugs that don’t help them, and in many cases make things worse.

The VA acknowledges the following in a statement on its website: “Rockets filled with sarin and cyclosporine mixes were found at a munitions storage depot in Khamisiyah, Iraq, that had been demolished by U.S. service members following the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire. An undetermined amount of these chemicals was released into the atmosphere. The Department of Defense concluded about 100,000 Gulf War Veterans could have been exposed to low levels of these nerve agents.”

The VA also adds that “research doesn’t show long-term neurological problems from exposure to low levels of sarin. A low level of sarin is an amount that doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms during the exposure.”

Regarding the burn pits, a VA statement on its burn pits registry page reads, “At this time, research does not show evidence of long-term health problems from exposure to burn pits.”

Did the Gulf War Cause Cancer, Too?

Benjamin Krause is a Gulf War veteran who went to law school after he retired from the military, and dedicates his practice to helping his fellow veterans.

He told Healthline that burn pit exposures are associated with an increasing number of diseases, including cancer.

“There’s growing evidence showing a link between burn pits and certain cancers like pancreatic cancer, for example,” Krause said. “VA is working to create a registry to help with service connection and health benefits for these veterans, but history has shown us that such initiatives take much longer to perfect while sick veterans die.”

Compounding the problem, Krause said, are non-VA healthcare providers who are simply unaware of the health risks of military service.

“They don’t ask the right questions and risk deadly misdiagnosis of symptoms because of a lack of awareness of the harms of burn pits, among other things,” Krause noted. “Veterans are getting sick and dying now. We need our VA to pick up the pace before more veterans get sick and die from burn pit exposure related illnesses.”

Congress Steps In

Anthony Hardie, a staff sergeant in the Army who served in combat deployments in the Gulf War and Somalia, has worked for years to get laws passed that set the framework for Gulf War veterans’ healthcare, research, and disability benefits.

The director of Veterans for Common Sense and chair of the programmatic panel of directors for the Gulf War Illness Research Program, Hardie’s work with fellow veteran advocates on both sides of the aisle led to the passage of the Persian Gulf War Veterans Act of 1998 and the Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998.

Hardie told Healthline that these laws gave Gulf War veterans hope for new treatments and recognition by the VA that their persistent symptoms were related to their service.

“But when veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness walk through the door at VA centers and clinics in 2016,” he said, “there are still no evidence-based treatments for them. And most of them are just shuffled off to psychiatric care.”

Winnett added that while Congress deemed three symptoms to be “presumptive” to service in the Gulf War, the VA continues to largely ignore that.

“The most widely reported symptoms of Gulf War Illness are profound fatigue, excruciating bodywide muscle pain, and chronic GI problems,” said Winnett. “The VA, despite its own regulations that are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to veterans with symptoms considered ‘presumptive’ to service in the Persian Gulf War, instead continue as an organization to view Gulf War Illness as a psychosomatic illness.”

Winnett explained that if a veteran can’t get their symptoms rated as service-connected, “their chance of receiving medical care relative to their symptoms is slim to none. This is a national tragedy of the highest order.”

Reasons for Optimism

Despite the frustrations, every veteran advocate interviewed for this story said there is reason for optimism.

For one thing, Congress recently decided to continue funding GWI treatment research at $20 million for the next year.

“[This] is just what we asked for,” said Hardie. “It shows that Congress continues to take Gulf War veterans’ health issues far more seriously than the Department of Defense or the VA.”
In addition to the two House hearings earlier this year, the Senate has also taken up the GWI issue.

Last month, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, announced that reforms and investments she fought for to improve veterans’ care were passed by the Senate as a part of the fiscal year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill.

Among Baldwin’s priorities stated in the bill is “better treatment for veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness.”

Baldwin’s provisions, which have received virtually no media coverage, would “improve the approval rates of veterans’ disability claims; enhance ongoing studies and research into the causes of and treatments for Gulf War Illness; and strengthen the membership and work of the Research Advisory Committee, which oversees the government’s research agenda.”

A spokesperson for the VA told Healthline, “The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently working on responding directly to Senator Baldwin, and will include relevant post-deployment health information.”

Promising New Science

The science surrounding GWI also continues to progress.

Two major, four-year, $5 million treatment development research projects at Nova Southeastern University and Boston University are about halfway completed and are expected to break new ground for possible GWI treatment recommendations.

And while there are no evidence-based treatments yet for GWI, some natural supplements have been shown in studies to effectively lessen some of the symptoms.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, concluded a few years ago that 19 of the most common GWI symptoms improved after taking supplements.

“We found in our research that there was significant benefit to the veterans’ physical function,” Beatrice Golomb, professor of medicine at the school and principal investigator on the study, told the Bergmann & Moore veterans law firm. “And that is a huge issue with these veterans, whose physical functions often decline. Some of them used to run 20 miles. Now they can’t jog a couple of blocks.”

About 80 percent of veterans with GWI who took coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) saw improved physical function, and the improvement correlated to higher levels of CoQ10 found in the blood, according to research published in Neural Computation.

“This is not a cure, but we think maybe if we give the veterans more of a mitochondrial cocktail they will see an even greater benefit,” Golomb said.

Forgotten After 9/11

Winnett said he felt a “moral obligation” to help his fellow vets after making a 2008 trip to Washington for a VA hearing on Gulf War veterans’ health.

“I was taken aback by the physical condition of the veterans I saw there,” Winnett recalled. “I was older than most Gulf War veterans because I had 16 years of service under my belt when the war began. In Washington, I saw veterans in their 40s who couldn’t walk without assistance. Some were in wheelchairs.”

Winnett said that after 9/11, many people in America, including legislators, just forgot about the fact that many thousands of 1991 veterans were sick.

“We moved on as a country following 9/11 to more pressing matters,” he said. “I would guess that Korean War veterans experienced a similar phenomenon as the Vietnam War ramped up in the mid 1960s. There comes a time when you’re no longer the flavor of the day.”

Thomas Bandzul, an attorney and veterans advocate who’s testified numerous times before Congress on Gulf War health issues, said the American public to this day simply does not have a good understanding of the effects the Gulf War had on the troops.

“The VA has downplayed the significance of Gulf War Illness and has successfully delayed the research that help veterans with their physical ailments,” Bandzul said. “VA still refuses to treat or allow these veterans a disability claim. The unspecific term of ‘general illness’ is still applied to most Gulf War veterans, and their claims are usually denied. This callous and capricious manner in dealing with veterans is a shame.”

Veterans Have Each Other’s Backs

But what stands out most among the Gulf War veterans who agreed to talk to Healthline for this piece is their relentless support of each other.

Last year, Larry Cockrell, a combat veteran who served with the 7th Marines in Task Force Ripper during the first Gulf War, was rated 100 percent disabled by the VA and retired from a successful career as an investigator for several Fortune 500 companies.

Cockrell has several serious health issues as a result of his service, but he’s dedicated his life to assisting his fellow combat veterans as well as their families on their ranch in Lake Mathews in Southern California.

“We assist combat veterans with file claims or file disagreements with VA,” he told Healthline. “Honestly, the Gulf War was forgotten when the parades ended. We fought the largest tank battles, birched the largest minefields, and injected our troops with experimental vaccines, all while fighting on the most contaminated battlefield in the history of warfare.”

Cockrell said “everyone dropped the ball” when Gulf War veterans came home and could not get the healthcare they needed. But he said he has gotten new strength and has never felt a stronger sense of purpose than he does now by helping his fellow veterans on his ranch.

“We love having the spouses and partners here enjoying the ambience and horses and giving their kids rides,” he said. “Ironically, I’ve only had a few veterans jump on a horse and ride. But as Winston Churchill once said, ‘the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.’ Just being around them assists veterans. It’s a given that our health issues are not going to get better as we get older. It’s time to give these combat veterans a 100 percent disability rating and a chance to manage their disabilities.”

13 June 2016

Healthcare Cloud Security Concerns Not Impediment to Usage

Original Story: healthitsecurity.com

A recent study found that 77 percent of healthcare organizations plan to increase the use of public cloud services despite significant healthcare cloud security concerns.
Public and private cloud solutions are gaining popularity in the healthcare industry, especially for data storage and network usage, despite issues surrounding healthcare cloud security and PHI data breaches. Secant Healthcare is looking into these options.

Researchers at HyTrust recently published a study that revealed 77 percent of healthcare organizations plan to move more workloads onto a public cloud service even though healthcare data security was a major concern with cloud usage.

“Without much fanfare, this critical technology advance has become woven into the basic fabric of businesses large and small,” said HyTrust President Eric Chiu. “The potential of virtualization and the cloud was always undeniable, but there was genuine concern over security and skepticism regarding the processes required.”

While organizations across all industries reported security challenges with cloud services, many companies are still migrating additional workloads to private and public clouds, added Chui.

The study found that the healthcare industry is no exception to increased cloud usage and virtualization. Approximately 55 percent of healthcare organizations stated that they have already moved mission critical workloads, such as sensitive patient information, to a cloud or software-defined data center.

Healthcare organizations are also virtualizing other aspects of their infrastructure, reported the study. Fifty-two percent of healthcare organizations have migrated test and development server workloads to a cloud service and 61 percent use a cloud product for storage.

Despite increased cloud usage, healthcare-related participants still said that their organization faced significant healthcare cloud security challenges. About 58 percent of respondents admitted that data security and breach concerns were the biggest worry once migration began.

In addition to data breach concerns, other security challenges across all industries included infrastructure-wide security and control as well as effective monitoring and visibility into cloud infrastructure. Secant Health is watching their IT closely for data breaches.

Additionally, previous healthcare data breaches have not discouraged organizations from implementing cloud services. An estimated 29 percent of respondents from healthcare organizations said that they have experienced a personal data breach.

“The large-scale migrations are particularly interesting in light of the many obstacles that have previously impeded planned moves to virtualized infrastructures,” explained the press release. “In fact, the survey reveals that not all concerns have been eliminated.”

To discover more about implementing healthcare cloud security, researchers asked participants in the industry what types of information needed to be secured in public and private clouds.

For public cloud security requirements, healthcare organizations said that all production data should be encrypted (32 percent), the entire workload should be encrypted (16 percent), and only personally identifiable information should be encrypted (13 percent).

In terms of private cloud services, about one-third of healthcare respondents favored encrypting all production data in a workload.

Software defined-data centers and cloud services are becoming staples in the healthcare industry as more providers transition to value-based care models. These models rely on large volumes of data and meaningful health IT use to increase quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.

While cloud products allow healthcare providers are useful to value-based care delivery, HIPAA rules still apply to data in the cloud.

“Cloud computing outsources technical infrastructure to another entity that essentially focuses all its time on maintaining software, platforms, or infrastructure,” The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) stated in a paper. “But a covered entity… still remains responsible for protecting PHI in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, even in circumstances where the entity has outsourced the performance of core PHI functions.”

However, healthcare organizations have struggled to maintain comprehensive healthcare cloud security. According to the Fall 2015 Netskope Cloud Report, healthcare cloud data loss prevention violations were the most common data loss prevention offenses across all industries studied, accounting for 76.2 percent of all cloud violations.

The report also discussed how healthcare and life sciences averaged 1,017 cloud applications per organization, which was the second highest number of apps behind the technology and IT sector. Yet, PHI was involved in 68.5 percent of violations in cloud applications.

Securing patient and production data can be more difficult when it is managed up in a cloud, but healthcare providers should be aware of several healthcare cloud security measures.

Healthcare organizations should partner with cloud vendors that design healthcare-specific products and can anticipate unique data security requirements, such as HIPAA and HITECH rules.

Regardless of vendor selection, providers should also develop contextual visibility and auditing capabilities. Healthcare cloud security policies should include monitoring alerts, lock-down capabilities, and geo-fencing of users. Intelligent security tools can be helpful for implementing these policies. Secant Healthcare plans on being careful of their vendor selection.

Technology and healthcare are both evolving quickly, but healthcare cloud security concerns could hold back providers from advancing care if they can’t also secure PHI and production data. While the HyTrust study showed healthcare organizations pushing ahead with cloud services despite security challenges, many of these providers may need to review healthcare cloud security measures.