Los Angeles Times: Their kids died on the psych ward. They were far from alone, a Times investigation found. “How many others die in California psychiatric facilities has been a difficult question to answer. No single agency keeps tabs on the number of deaths at psychiatric facilities in California, or elsewhere in the nation. In an effort to assess the scope of the problem, The Times submitted more than 100 public record requests to nearly 50 county and state agencies to obtain death certificates, coroner’s reports and hospital inspection records with information about these deaths.”
Krebs on Security: Study: Ransomware, Data Breaches at Hospitals tied to Uptick in Fatal Heart Attacks. “Hospitals that have been hit by a data breach or ransomware attack can expect to see an increase in the death rate among heart patients in the following months or years because of cybersecurity remediation efforts, a new study posits. Health industry experts say the findings should prompt a larger review of how security — or the lack thereof — may be impacting patient outcomes.”
Hartford Courant: New tool aims to remove the mystery of health care costs at Connecticut hospitals. “A new cost estimator tool launched by the Office of Health Strategy reveals how much medical treatment costs vary across Connecticut’s health care facilities. Standard procedures, like knee replacements, can cost nearly three times as much at certain hospitals than they do at others.”
Ars Technica: Ransomware forces 3 hospitals to turn away all but the most critical patients. “Ten hospitals—three in Alabama and seven in Australia—have been hit with paralyzing ransomware attacks that are affecting their ability to take new patients, it was widely reported on Tuesday.”
Open Privacy: Press Release: Open Privacy discovers unencrypted patient medical information broadcast across Vancouver. “The Open Privacy Research Society has discovered that the sensitive medical information of patients being admitted to certain hospitals across the Greater Vancouver Area is being broadcast, unencrypted, by hospital paging systems, and that these broadcasts are trivially interceptable by anyone in the Greater Vancouver Area.”
Washington Post: Robocalls are overwhelming hospitals and patients, threatening a new kind of health crisis. “In the heart of Boston, Tufts Medical Center treats scores of health conditions, administering measles vaccines for children and pioneering next-generation tools that can eradicate the rarest of cancers. But doctors, administrators and other hospital staff struggled to contain a much different kind of epidemic one April morning last year: a wave of thousands of robocalls that spread like a virus from one phone line to the next, disrupting communications for hours.”
PR Web: Nonprofit Launches National Network to Track All Drug Diversion Within Hospitals and Health Systems to Combat Opioid Crisis (PRESS RELEASE). “The Healthcare Diversion Network, a nonprofit association dedicated to preventing drug diversion, today announced the launch of HealthCareDiversion.org, a first-of-its-kind forum that aims to compile all known healthcare diversion incidents into a single national database. The new online forum is the first step in building national dialogue and transparency around one of the most critical, yet often unspoken, risks associated with the opioid crisis.” It is expected that eventually the database will be opened to the public.