July 6, 2021

Around the nation: HHS watchdog wants stronger cybersecurity requirements for hospitals

Daily Briefing

    HHS' Office of the Inspector General recommended CMS add cybersecurity requirements to its hospital guidelines in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

    • District of Columbia: HHS' Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last month reported that CMS lacks consistent oversight for hospitals' networked medical devices, leading to potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could put patients at risk. The report found that hospitals accredited by CMS are not required to have cybersecurity measures and that accrediting organizations rarely review cybersecurity in their hospital surveys. OIG proposed several ways for CMS to update its practice to address potential cybersecurity issues, including creating new cybersecurity requirements for hospitals. CMS would not commit to revising its current guidelines but said it encourages hospitals to address cybersecurity in their emergency preparedness plans and will continue to offer education and support against cyberattacks. (Taylor, Healthcare Dive, 6/25; Brady, Modern Healthcare, 6/23)
    • North Carolina: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has partnered with Deerfield Management to create a new joint venture aimed at supporting independent physician practices. The new company will offer management infrastructure, technology support, and marketplace information. Independent physicians can allow Blue Cross NC to take over their non-clinical assets or contract services through the company to manage non-clinical operations. Von Nguyen, CMO of Blue Cross NC, said providers will be able to focus on "serving patients instead of ensuring bills are paid on time and managing risks." (Devereaux, Modern Healthcare, 6/30)
    • Tennessee: Ardent Health Services has named Terika Richardson as COO, effective September 7. Richardson most recently served as president of the Central Chicagoland Patient Service Area for Advocate Aurora Health. Before that, she was CEO at Retreat Doctor's Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, and served in different leadership roles at HCA Healthcare and Northwell Health. (Stinnett, Nashville Business Journal, 6/30)
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