In 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs set guidelines requiring all eligible and participating hospitals and providers to offer certified technology that would give patients access to their electronic health information (EHI). By 2020, 57% of the population reported being offered access to their EHI via portal by their healthcare provider, which constitutes a 24% increase since it was first required. However, recent studies have found that there are disparities in who is being offered access to the EHI, specifically in the Black and Hispanic communities. These disparities must be addressed to promote improved health for the general population and health equity.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a simulation of human intelligence that is subsequently processed by machines. It has revolutionized the healthcare space by improving patient outcomes in a variety of ways. It has also begun to leave a positive impact in health systems and hospitals as healthcare worker burnout remains on the rise. However, there are significant legal challenges that accompany its groundbreaking nature. Hospitals and health systems have a duty to mitigate these legal challenges and understand that AI should be used as a supplement, not a replacement, to human intelligence.
Ransomware attacks are one of the largest threats to the healthcare industry and a tough cybersecurity problem to address. From 2016-2021, there were almost 400 ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations in the US. It is estimated that such attacks exposed the personal healthcare data of over 40 million patients. Since these attacks cannot typically be resolved without paying the ransom, it is important to invest in preventative measures to protect healthcare data from potential breach.
After five years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis): Relyvrio. While the drug is expected to significantly prolong the life of ALS patients, who typically die within a few years after diagnosis, the fast approval of the drug raises concerns regarding the FDA’s fast-tracking process of approval.
Home health agencies (HHAs) provide health care services to assist individuals with a disability, or who are ill, injured, or elderly. It is a cost-effective and convenient method of receiving quality care that is provided from the comfort of the patient’s own home. While HHAs have been around for years, primarily to serve the elderly and avoid hospitalization, the post-pandemic “at-home” era has made it the fastest-growing healthcare industry in the country. However, the high demands and good intentions of instilling home health agencies come with its adverse counterpart- fraud and abuse.
On June 24, the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade. In doing so, it declared that there was no longer a constitutional right to abortion, allowing state police power to determine its legality. Immediately after this decision, trigger laws went into effect across a quarter of the states, making abortions illegal. Post Dobbs, information collected on personal devices, especially through period-tracking and telemedicine apps, is at risk of being exposed and utilized as criminal evidence.