TGIF

Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s report on the current week’s activities on Capitol Hill. Yesterday, the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee cleared for floor consideration the President’s nomination of Alexander Acosta to be Secretary of Labor. “An aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Bloomberg BNA March 30 that he didn’t have any scheduling announcements about a full floor vote.”

Healthcare Dive is reporting this afternoon that “Donald Rucker, who previously served as Siemens Healthcare’s vice president and chief medical officer, will serve as the next head of the HHS’ Office of National of Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).” “On his LinkedIn biography, Rucker describes himself as a physician leader with national clinical informatics success.” He states he was a co-developer of the first Microsoft Windows-based electronic medical record.” That’s good news because no doubt he will be leading the charge on electronic medical record interoperability.

Health Data Management tells us about a recent IBM report on the state of health care cybersecurity. “The top types of attacks for monitored security clients in 2016 were injection of malicious data (/ phishing attacks experienced by 42 percent of its clients), manipulation of data structures to gain unauthorized access (32 percent) and collection/analysis of information (9 percent).”  The oversight subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing on strengthening public/private partnerships to guard against cyberattacks in the health care sector next Tuesday.

GAO issued a report on the benefits and limitations of identity theft services for consumers.

Finally, be sure to read this Forbes article in which the CEO of the enormous Permanente Medical Group, Robert Pearl, MDm describes his recent hospital stay following a serious knee injury. The article begins

I’ve spent much of my life in hospitals as a physician and surgeon. Recently I suffered an injury that taught me much about what it’s like to be a patient. It wasn’t that I did not understand the problems, but now I recognize the full magnitude. As a result, my perception of being hospitalized has changed forever. And I recognize how delirium, a life-threatening event, can happen to even relatively healthy patients.

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