Maryland’s digital health system remains down after cyberattack

ByShannon J. Cortes

Jan 10, 2022

“Unusual behavior” was detected on the Maryland Department of Health network on December 4 and later turned out to be a cyberattack. The Washington Post says many systems are still inoperable more than a month later, affecting the pandemic response as well as routine care.

The Washington Post: Maryland health workers, lawmakers want answers as problems persist month after cyberattack

State health workers still cannot use computers, access shared drives and access important data a month after a cyber attack crippled the Maryland Department of Health, the chief of a union representing agency employees. They have received little information on what is going on and are bracing for the possibility that their systems will remain damaged for some time. (Thompson, Wiggins and Cox, 1/8)

In other healthcare industry news –

Modern healthcare: ONC publishes data standard for patient addresses, urges industry to adopt

A health and social services agency is encouraging healthcare providers, public health agencies and other organizations to consider adopting a new data standard for documenting the addresses of patients in healthcare. The office of the national coordinator of health information technology on Friday released the final version of the US @ project, a technical specification designed as an industry-wide data standard for patient addresses. The ONC has been working on the US @ project with healthcare IT and standards development organizations since the effort began in early 2021. (Kim Cohen, 1/7)

Modern healthcare: Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians strike for paid time off

Psychologists, social workers and therapists employed at Kaiser Permanente clinics in Oakland and Richmond, Calif. To go on strike for a day to protest Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not a day paid holiday. The strike is scheduled to take place on Monday, Jan. 17, outside Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center and the company’s headquarters in downtown Oakland. About 200 workers plan to march alongside allies and elected officials. The strike is the latest move by Kaiser Permanente employees to address issues of structural racism within the organization, said Ixayanne Baez, marriage and family therapist at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland clinic. (Devereaux, 1/7)

KHN: black-owned hospice seeks to facilitate death of black families

This time around, it didn’t take long to convince Mary Murphy to embrace the home hospice. When her mother died of Alzheimer’s disease in 2020, she was reluctant until she realized how much help it was. So when her husband, Willie, almost reached the end of his life, she embraced the hospice again. The Murphy’s home in a leafy part of Nashville is their happy place – full of their treasures. “He’s nice to me – he buys me whatever I want,” she said, as she pulled out a milky glass vase from a floor-to-ceiling cabinet with mirrored shelves. (farmer, 1/10)

As well –

The Washington Post: Many doctors lack knowledge of ADA

The Americans With Disabilities Act has been in effect for more than three decades. But do doctors understand their legal obligations under the law – and are they doing all they can to accommodate patients with disabilities? In short: no. That’s the message of a study published in Health Affairs that highlights significant gaps in provider knowledge and suggests that nearly three-quarters of ambulatory physicians do not understand how to cope with their patients’ disabilities. (Blakemore, 1/9)

CNBC: These medical bills are now banned. What if you get one anyway

Starting this month, a new law that has been in the works for years bans some unexpected medical bills. However, advocates say it’s important for consumers to always be on the lookout for these charges and know what action to take if they experience one anyway. “Unfortunately, suppliers will not write ‘Surprise! “On top of a now illegal bill,” said Caitlin Donovan, spokesperson for the National Patient Advocate Foundation. “It will be up to patients to know when the new protections should apply.” (November, 1/7)

Stat: A look at the hot issues at JPM 2022

There will be no crowded halls or $ 100 chair rentals at this year’s JP Morgan Healthcare conference. But the biggest annual meeting of the trillion-dollar life sciences industry, imposed on Zoom by Omicron, will still grab the world’s attention as investors, executives and others seek to respond. to critical questions about the future of sectors such as biotechnology and health technologies. Is there a second act for mRNA companies? Was teletherapy just a pandemic fad? Can Biogen Save Its Emerging Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment? And will 2022 be the year of the redemption? (1/9)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.