Law & Legislation

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May 2024
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New EPA standards to reduce ethylene oxide emissions

Editor's Note New standards from The Environmental Protection Agency promise to cut nationwide emissions of ethylene oxide—employed to sterilize more than half of US medical devices—by more than 90 percent. According to a March 15 MedPage Today report, the aim is to reduce cancer risk among the 13 to 14…

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By: Matt Danford
March 18, 2024
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Survey reveals broad impact of Change Healthcare cyberattack

Editor's Note The recent cyberattack on Change Healthcare created a financial impact for the lion’s share of US hospitals surveyed recently by the American Hospital Association, with more than half reporting “significant or serious” impact and three of every four also reporting direct impacts on patient care. These data reflect…

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By: Matt Danford
March 18, 2024
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#PatientSafetyAwarenessWeek: Bipartisan National Patient Safety Board Act reintroduced to Congress

Editor's Note US Representatives from California and Texas reintroduced the National Patient Safety Board (NPSB) Act, which aims to establish a public-private research and development team “dedicated to preventing and reducing healthcare-related harms." The March 11 announcement comes during Patient Safety Awareness Week, an annual awareness initiative focusing on the…

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By: Lindsay Botts
March 12, 2024
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Alabama immunity legislation shields IVF patients, providers

Editor's Note A new Alabama law provides civil and criminal immunity for providers and patients of in vitro fertilization (IVF) services, the Associated Press reported March 7. Last month, the Alabama Supreme Court effectively ruled that frozen embryos are people with a constitutional right to life, casting doubt on the…

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By: Matt Danford
March 7, 2024
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Hot-button healthcare issues lead to “elevated” threat from domestic extremists

Editor's Note Divisive cultural issues such as abortion, gender-related care, and disagreements over the COVID-19 pandemic will "amplify the health care sector's visibility as a potential target for attack" by domestic extremists, according to a March 4 ABC News report on a confidential memo issued by the Department of Homeland…

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By: Matt Danford
March 6, 2024
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Ransomware group targeting Change Healthcare receives $22m Bitcoin payment

Editor's Note BlackCat, the ransomware group responsible for the cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group’s Change Healthcare received a $22 million payment in bitcoins, according to a post the group made online. Reutors reported the news March 4. Change Healthcare provides payment and revenue cycle management tools and is owned by UnitedHealth, the…

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By: Brita Belli
March 5, 2024
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Hospital hacking threats persist amid continued chaos of Change Healthcare cyberattack

Editor's Note The ransomware group behind a recent cyberattack on one of the nation’s largest health systems has its sights set on hospitals, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) warned February 27. According to a report in Chief Healthcare Executive one day later, systems were…

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By: Matt Danford
March 1, 2024
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Shift to outpatient, emergency services keeps rural hospitals afloat

Editor's Note More CEOs are considering rural emergency hospital (REH) designation, according to a February 12 article in Becker’s Hospital CFO Report. In 2021, REH was established as a new Medicare provider type to enable struggling rural hospitals to continue operating with outpatient and emergency services only, instead of closing.…

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By: Matt Danford
February 27, 2024
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Editorial: Social media raises privacy, ethical concerns

After spending many years in management roles, I can testify to the truth of one old proverb: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Patient privacy is a prime example. Confusion on this topic seems just as rampant today as in the early 2000s, amid the widespread…

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By: Jane E. Kuhn, RN, MSN, CNOR(e), NEA-BC (Retired)
February 27, 2024
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Unveiling ECRI’s 2024 top 10 health technology hazards list

What is the purpose of the top 10 health technology hazards list, released every year by ECRI? “Our number one goal at ECRI is to reduce preventable harm,” stresses Jason Launders, MSC, former director of operations, device evaluation, at ECRI. “We know that every healthcare provider has a lot they…

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By: Tarsilla Moura
February 27, 2024
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