Locky ransomware variant makes detection more difficult | Focus on impact, not size, of health data breaches, researchers say | Value-based payments achieving wider acceptance
November 9, 2017
Health IT SmartBrief
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Locky ransomware variant makes detection more difficult
A team of researchers from Cylance found that Diablo6, a variant of the Locky ransomware that attacked various facilities, has been updated by its authors to make it harder for traditional antivirus solutions and users to detect. The ransomware variant appears as a legitimate email and attachment, and it targets many different types of files for encryption, including zipped files, images, backups and videos.
ZDNet (11/7) 
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Technology Trends
Focus on impact, not size, of health data breaches, researchers say
Focus on impact, not size, of health data breaches, researchers say
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine claiming that larger health care facilities have an increased data breach risk "neglects inherent biases in data collection and reporting practices," Vanderbilt University researchers wrote in a letter to the editor in the same journal. Researchers noted that treating data breaches based on their size rather than on their impact could negatively affect perceived privacy and security risks, and they raised concerns about the gap between detected and unreported breaches.
Health IT Security (11/8) 
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Value-based payments achieving wider acceptance
A survey by Catalyst for Payment Reform found that reimbursement models tied to patient outcomes have grown substantially, with about 40% of payments made to physicians and hospitals including a quality measure in 2014, compared with only 11% the year before. Another survey of US physicians from The Physicians Foundation found 42% said their compensation was tied to quality measures.
Managed Healthcare Executive (11/6) 
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ONC announces winners of patient matching algorithm contest
The winners of the ONC's Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge, which gathered almost 7,000 algorithm submissions from more than 140 competing teams, were announced Wednesday. Vynca's stacked model combining eight models' predictions won first place in the Best F-score category, while PICSURE's Fellegi-Sunter method-based algorithm was awarded in the Best Recall and Best Precision categories.
EHR Intelligence (11/8) 
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EHRs and MU
State efforts help reduce prior authorization burdens
Some states are helping reduce prior authorization burdens for physicians by requiring insurers and vendors to use electronic prior authorizations in EHRs, AMA legislative attorney Emily Carroll told attendees of the AAFP State Legislative Conference. A law passed in Ohio requires insurers to respond to prior authorization requests for urgent care within 48 hours, and within 10 days for nonurgent care requests.
AAFP News (11/7) 
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Study finds digital divide in advanced EHR use
Researchers analyzed data from the 2015 American Hospital Association Annual and IT Supplement survey and found a digital divide in the use of EHR systems between larger, urban hospitals and hospitals with fewer resources. The findings, presented at the 2017 American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium, showed that use of advanced EHR functions for patient engagement and performance measurement was less likely among critical access hospitals.
Health Data Management (11/7) 
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Mobile unit treats stroke victims en route to hospital
Because stroke victims lose millions of brain cells every minute treatment is delayed, several major US cities are studying mobile stroke treatment units to help victims before they reach the hospital.
WCBS-TV (New York City) (11/7) 
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Advancing Care With IT
Second Sight's visual prosthesis system wins expedited access status from FDA
The FDA granted Second Sight Medical Products Expedited Access Pathway designation for its Orion Cortical Visual Prosthesis System, which produces the perception of light patterns in patients who are completely blind by stimulating the brain's visual cortex. The system comes with a camera and a brain implant for bypassing the patient's optic nerve.
MassDevice (Boston) (11/8),  Seeking Alpha (free registration) (11/8) 
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You build on failure. You use it as a steppingstone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
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