Sigmund Software, LLC is part of the VSS Medical Group
A governmental fact sheet from the HHS reports a dramatic 300% increase in ransomware attacks on governmental systems from 2015 to 2016. There are now an average of 4,000 attacks per day on government computers alone. This alarming trend extends to attacks (some successful) on mission critical healthcare facility systems, whose requirement for uninterrupted service can quite literally be a matter of life or death. Ransomware, it is clear, is a highly profitable business. Tips for avoiding infection are everywhere. But what do you do if the worst happens? What do you do if you ARE infected?
At this time it is hard to find a more divisive subject than healthcare, nor to write about it without incurring anger from one quarter or another, along with accusations of some form of political prejudice. Whichever side of the healthcare see-saw you personally sit upon, one thing is abundantly clear: The times, they are a-changing.
Providers that work with behavioral health issues face unique challenges. Addiction treatment, for example, is not like setting a broken bone. A bone will set in time whether a patient wants it to or not. By contrast, their state of mental health controls much of the recovery process for an addict. As such, recovery is in large part directly in their own hands.
Back in September of 2016 we showcased one of our EHR clients, the Newport Academy. The Newport Academy specializes in the treatment of teenagers with addiction and behavioral health issues. Treatment and rehabilitation programs are family focused and results oriented. Jamison Monroe, Founder and CEO of Newport Academy, says on the Academy web site that, "It is from a foundation of compassion and love that we provide a truly unparalleled level of care for teens and families". This level of care shows in the curriculum.
Sigmund Software maintains multiple state of the art HIPAA compliant data centers to secure and protect the data of their clients and the patients in their care. But often, HIPAA violations occur by the most mundane of methods. Literally, through the back door.
I have spent my career of 20 years working in the behavioral health and addiction treatment field. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor early on that helped me uncover my true passion; leveraging proven behavioral principles and consulting data to assess a patients response to a specific treatment intervention. How we approach treatment outcomes is similar to how we should approach solving the biggest industry challenges like protecting parity, treatment availability, and agreeing on the true treatment economics so that we can bend the healthcare cost curve.
The addiction treatment provider community in Florida has been shaken following the arrest of James Kigar, CEO of Whole Life Recovery, a prominent drug and alcohol treatment facility based in Boyton, Florida. This rabbit hole just keeps getting deeper, and as investigators from the State Attorney's Sober Home Task Force dig ever deeper, the list of charges continue to grow.
At the time of writing, Kigar faces 95 counts of patient brokering. Many affiliated organizations that work with Whole Life Recovery are now being drawn into the investigation, and some are facing charges of their own. And here's the important thing: Whether they knowingly participated in illegal activity, or not.
As each year draws to an end, thoughts naturally turn to the events which shaped it. 2016 has been challenging, in many ways. Global strife. Celebrities dropping like flies. Political upheaval. Bad news abounds.
We thought it would be refreshing to focus instead on the positive. Specifically, the positive changes within Sigmund during the preceding twelve months. The outlook at Sigmund is bright, and getting brighter every day.
CARF International accreditation provides a visible symbol that assures the public of a provider's commitment to continually enhance the quality of services and programs, with a focus on the satisfaction of the Patient. Service providers earning CARF accreditation are recognized for their ongoing innovation and continued conformance to internationally accepted standards.Accreditation can help your organization meet the challenges it faces in achieving quality outcomes for the patients you serve.
CARF accreditation offers numerous benefits to service providers including patient engagement standards that emphasize an integrated and individualized approach to services and outcomes, management techniques that are efficient, cost-effective, and based on outcomes and patient satisfaction, and improved revenue cycle management and reimbursement by providing marketing tools to show consumers, referral sources, and funding sources your commitment to quality programs and services.
Register today for the industry’s premiere Addiction Treatment Conference and meet with the Michael Johnson to learn about CARF accreditation Value and Process.
On January 17, 2017, join industry experts and leading treatment providers for a very special one day event at the beautiful PGA National Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach, Florida. This event, facilitated by Sigmund Software and several other sponsors, aims to provide an information platform for healthcare professionals in which to collaborate, learn, and get the most from the latest developments in the fast moving world of Addiction Treatment and Behavioral Health management software.
A full day of keynote and educational speakers will be mixed in with exhibits from industry leading vendors. With a complimentary breakfast and lunch, plenty of networking opportunities with peers and industry leaders, as well as a free touch screen tablet and several other giveaways, there will be something for everyone in this event which is aimed squarely at those intending to stay ahead in the increasingly competitive healthcare arena.
Admission is free. No charge. If you do wish to make a discretionary charitable donation, one of the event sponsors, the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, is celebrating 30 years of operation. We encourage any and all donations to help support this fine organization.
So here's the thing. January. Florida. Luxury resort. Free. So the question really is simple. How will you get here?
For more information please visit the event web site at SEIEVENTS.COM
At the recent ONC Annual Meeting the ONC Principal Deputy National Coordinator, Dr. Vindell Washington, confirmed that the great majority of non-federal acute care hospitals now operate through certified electronic health record (EHR) systems, and that of this number 82 percent now routinely exchange lab and radiology reports, clinical summaries, medication lists and other data with external medical providers and partners such as ambulatory care facilities and doctors offices.
Dr. Washington notes that since 2008 this percentage has doubled, being only 42 percent 8 short years ago. Dr. Washington went on to note, however, that a recent ONC report highlighted that smaller facilities, rural hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) have been less successful in their transition to an interoperable environment, and have been more resistant to adoption of an EHR solution that can provide the interoperability needed. Statistics show that rural hospitals in particular are achieving only half this engagement rate - in other words, the 2008 implementation rate is unchanged. 42 percent. No progress.
June 23 2016 saw the conviction by a federal jury of Jamie Knapp, 26, a (former) respiratory therapist at ProMedica Bay Park Hospital, Oregon, Ohio.
Knapp was found guilty of wrongfully accessing patient protected health information (PHI) between May 2013 and March 2014. Knapp was fully authorized to access this information. It was the use to which the PHI was put that was illegal.