A HITEQ Center Training Badge
In March 2019, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a Proposed Rule, 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program. ONC released a final rule in March 2020, published in the Federal Register on May 1, 2020. The Final Rule on Information Blocking prohibits actors from blocking the exchange of electronic health information and seeks to increase the ease and choices available for patients to access their data.
Click Read More below to understand how this impacts health centers.
HITEQ Highlights Webinar
New guidelines from SAMHSA released in July 2020 are designed to improve coordination of care for patients in treatment for substance disorder, while protecting confidentiality against unauthorized disclosure and use of patient information. View this HITEQ webinar on changes to SAMHSA’s 42 CFR Part 2 rule (Part 2) which protects individuals receiving substance use disorder treatment by defining privacy and security requirements for written, electronic and verbal information. This webinar features expert presenters from the University of New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice and the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information who present on the new final Part 2 rule and future changes in the CARES Act, including what has changed, what has not changed, what this means for health centers in regard to consents and disclosures, and the implications for care coordination. This presentation also addresses privacy considerations for tele-behavioral health and exceptions during the state of emergency waiver.
Updated 10/29/2020 with Ransomware Alert Notification and Documentation from CISA
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have announced an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.
CISA, FBI, and HHS have released AA20-302A Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector that details both the threat and practices that healthcare organizations should continuously engage in to help manage the risk posed by ransomware and other cyber threats. The advisory references the joint CISA MS-ISAC Ransomware Guide that provides a ransomware response checklist that can serve as a ransomware-specific addendum to organization cyber incident response plans.
It has been noted that hackers are using Ryuk ransomware — malicious software used to encrypt data and keep it locked up — and the Trickbot network of infected computers to steal data, disrupt health care services and extort money from health care facilities. Such data hijacking often cripples online systems, forcing many to pay up to millions of dollars to restore their services.
Find links and further documentation below
Published June 2020
This printable PDF checklist provides a guide for health center staff to mitigate cybersecurity risks and threats during times of emergency and incident response that have them working remotely from the health center.
Updated 11/16/2020 with NIST Guidance on Securing the Telehealth Remote Monitoring Ecosystem
We are adding additional telehealth policy information relevant to coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts health centers as it becomes available.
Moving to Telehealth during Coronavirus Public Health Emergency
Health centers are having to dramatically change approaches to patient care as the COVID-19 public health emergency keeps patients at home and ramps up the demands of telehealth and other remote care modalities. This resource is a quick start guide for health centers making this change.
Best Practices for Health Center Staff Working Remotely
The number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase throughout the United States, requiring more and more of our health systems to rely on employees working from home at times. While some of us are required to "shelter-in-place," unfortunately that shelter can create increased risks such as cyber security breaches.
Issue Brief for implementing commercial applications for telehealth consistent with March 2020 OCR Guidance
HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the entity responsible for enforcing regulations under HIPAA, stated, effective immediately, it will exercise enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for HIPAA violations against covered healthcare providers if patients are served on a good faith basis during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. Find out what this means in implementation by accessing this issue brief.
A Decision Tree from the Legal Action Center
This decision tree, developed through funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helps organizations determine if Part 2 of CFR 42 applies to them. It should be noted that FQHCs will always be designated as “federally assisted” due to certified status as Medicaid providers and/or federal funding.
From the Office of the National Coordinator
The timely exchange of health information between behavioral health providers and physical health providers to support care coordination is a critical element of the National Quality Strategy and health reform efforts. However, privacy and confidentiality concerns are currently limiting the inclusion of behavioral health data in electronic health information exchange efforts.