Author: Mike Orcutt / Source: MIT Technology Review
Small health-care facilities like doctors’ offices are uniquely vulnerable to cyberattacks due to the sensitive information on their networks, and because many lack the resources to defend themselves. Congress could help change that by adjusting two laws designed to prevent improper business arrangements between doctors and hospitals.
That’s according to a new report by the Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force, a group of 21 private sector and government cybersecurity experts and administrators convened by Congress as part of the landmark Cybersecurity Act of 2015.
Among other things, the report recommends that Congress explore changes to the so-called Physician Referral Law and the Anti-Kickback statute, which prevent doctors from receiving any kind of payment from a hospital or clinic in exchange for patient referrals or other business, like lab work, that is reimbursed by federal health-care programs including Medicare and Medicaid. According to the task force, many hospitals would like to help smaller business partners purchase cybersecurity tools so that they do not become a liability, but are afraid that would violate these laws.
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