All posts tagged: healthcare

UnitedHealth says Change Healthcare hacked by nation state, as pharmacy outages drag on

UnitedHealth says Change Healthcare hacked by nation state, as pharmacy outages drag on

U.S. health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group said Thursday in a filing with government regulators that its subsidiary Change Healthcare was compromised likely by government-backed hackers. In a filing Thursday, UHG blamed the ongoing cybersecurity incident affecting Change Healthcare on suspected nation state hackers but said it had no timeframe for when its systems would be back online. UHG did not attribute the cyberattack to a specific nation or government, or cite what evidence it had to support its claim. A company spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment at the time of writing. Change Healthcare provides patient billing across the U.S. healthcare system. The company processes billions of healthcare transactions annually and claims it handles around one-in-three U.S. patient records, amounting to around a hundred million Americans. The cyberattack began early Wednesday, according to the company’s incident tracker. Change Healthcare has not yet disclosed the specific nature of its cyberattack. Pharmacies across the U.S. are reporting that they are unable to fulfill prescriptions through patients’ insurance due to the ongoing outage at Change …

California single-payer healthcare faces doubts from Democratic leader

California single-payer healthcare faces doubts from Democratic leader

SACRAMENTO —  California Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas cast doubt on the latest proposal to create a state-run single-payer healthcare system, saying he likes the idea but isn’t convinced the state can afford it in the face of a budget shortfall of at least $38 billion. “The concept of single-payer and expanding access and affordability are good ideas,” Rivas, a Democrat from Hollister, told reporters at the state Capitol on Tuesday. “I say this with great respect to stakeholders and advocates: We need to see how this is funded. It’s a good idea but it’s a tough, tough sell, especially in a budget climate that we are experiencing now.” Assembly Bill 2200, called Guaranteed Health Care for All — or CalCare — would set up a universal single-payer healthcare system for all residents of California. The bill by Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San José) is based on his prior single-payer legislation, which failed to get enough votes to move forward in January 2022. A legislative analysis of that bill pegged the cost between $314 billion and $391 billion …

Israel’s unrelenting war on Gaza healthcare requires urgent action | Israel War on Gaza

Israel’s unrelenting war on Gaza healthcare requires urgent action | Israel War on Gaza

In late December, South Africa filed a landmark case at the International Court of Justice alleging that Israel has committed multiple “genocidal acts” against Palestinians in Gaza, including an “assault on Gaza’s healthcare system, which renders life unsustainable”. Destruction of a healthcare system is indeed an act of genocide – especially in a besieged territory where over two million displaced, desperate, starving people are facing relentless, indiscriminate bombardment and sniper fire. Once the health system is destroyed, injuries cannot be treated, primary care cannot be delivered, and famine cannot be managed – in other words, life cannot be sustained. While the ICJ will likely take some years to issue a final verdict on the case against Israel, it should be clear to anyone paying any attention to the situation of healthcare in Gaza that the Strip is on a scandalous pathway to complete ethnic cleansing. Since October 7, Israeli forces have been blocking the entry of essential medical supplies and medicines to the Strip, bombing hospitals and other medical facilities, killing and kidnapping healthcare staff, …

Satellite Photos Point to Indiscriminate Israeli Attacks on Gaza’s Health Care Facilities

Satellite Photos Point to Indiscriminate Israeli Attacks on Gaza’s Health Care Facilities

International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on hospitals and health care facilities, or against patients, doctors, and their means of transport, during a conflict. A health care facility can lose its protected status if it is used to “commit acts that are harmful to the enemy,” according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “Hospitals have special protection status underneath the Geneva Conventions and the Law of Armed Conflict,” says Nathaniel Raymond, a human rights investigator and a coauthor of the study. “To intentionally strike a hospital, the protocol required is the most restrictive for any type of civilian infrastructure. An armed party to a conflict must ensure that the hospital is notified that it has lost protected status, and efforts are made to ensure the evacuation of those facilities prior to any kinetic strike. That is what the law requires.” In a lengthy response to WIRED’s questions about what measures it has taken to prevent damage to health care facilities, the IDF defended its military operations. “A central feature of Hamas’ strategy is …

The Hidden Injustice of Cyberattacks

The Hidden Injustice of Cyberattacks

Talk about the promise and the peril of artificial intelligence is everywhere these days. But for many low-income families, communities of color, military veterans, people with disabilities, and immigrant communities, AI is a back-burner issue. Their day-to-day worries revolve around taking care of their health, navigating the economy, seeking educational opportunities, and upholding democracy. But their worries are also being amplified through advanced, persistent, and targeted cyberattacks. Cyber operations are relentless, growing in scale, and exacerbate existing inequalities in health care, economic opportunities, education access, and democratic participation. And when these pillars of society become unstable, the consequences ripple through national and global communities. Collectively, cyberattacks have severe and long-term impacts on communities already on the margins of society. These attacks are not just a technological concern—they represent a growing civil rights crisis, disproportionately dismantling the safety and security for vulnerable groups and reinforcing systemic barriers of racism and classism. The United States currently lacks an assertive response to deter the continued weaponization of cyber operations and to secure digital access, equity, participation, and safety …

Wellness Is Not Healthcare | Psychology Today

Wellness Is Not Healthcare | Psychology Today

Question: “Why does my mental health coach not just call herself a psychologist?” Answer: “Because not just anyone can call themselves a psychologist.” Mental health and mental wellness, though often used interchangeably, cater to distinct markets. Mental health services are primarily focused on diagnosing, treating, and managing mental illnesses, as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) [1]. As such, labels like “psychologist,” “psychiatrist,” and “therapist’ are protected titles that describe individuals who are qualified to deliver specific mental health services. State licensing boards oversee these mental health providers in the U.S., while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the approval of drugs and medical devices. By contrast, mental wellness services embrace a more holistic and altogether less regulated approach to enhance overall well-being through stress relief, mindfulness, and lifestyle improvement. Both these industries drive positive social impact, but they are not the same thing. Why Do Health and Wellness Apps Get a Free Pass? Despite clear industry distinctions, the digital world often blurs the lines between mental health and wellness solutions. In popular …

David Nutt: ‘denying access to psychedelics is like denying access to the Covid vaccine’

David Nutt: ‘denying access to psychedelics is like denying access to the Covid vaccine’

Australian regulators were so convinced by the results of clinical trials that they went one step further last year and approved the prescription of psilocybin and MDMA-assisted therapy for depression and PTSD respectively. The radical move did raise some eyebrows, including from within the UK’s psychedelic research community, with some doctors warning that as most trials were still incomplete it was too soon to say that these treatments are safe and that things had moved too quickly. “I was in Australia, speaking to state regulators and a number of ministers of health, so no, I don’t believe things moved too quickly. The reality is, in Australia, one first responder kills themselves every day because they’ve been traumatised by their job. It seems completely unjust that they could be denied access to a therapy that we know is quite likely to help maybe half, maybe more, of those who try it. And that’s why the Australian health regulator has changed the law, because they saw the need, and they didn’t want to wait for the conventional …

Ambience Healthcare raises M for its AI assistant led by OpenAI and Kleiner Perkins

Ambience Healthcare raises $70M for its AI assistant led by OpenAI and Kleiner Perkins

Artificial intelligence has an increasing role in the world of healthcare, and startups that bring the two worlds closer are seeing significant traction with customers, and investors. In the latest development, Ambience Healthcare — has developed what it describes as an “operating system” for healthcare organizations to help clinicians complete the substantial administrative work required of them — has raised $70 million to expand its business. Today, that business is focused in the U.S. and covers clinical work related to a wide range of ambulatory specialities (outpatient medical services) such as cardiology, oncology, pediatrics, ENT. Ambience does not disclose how many customers it has, nor how much data it’s platform been used to process. But customers it discloses include UCSF, Memorial Hermann Health System, John Muir Health, The Oncology Institute, GI Alliance, Midi Health, and Eventus WholeHealth, and the investors in this round also speak to the traction it has seen so far. Kleiner Perkins and OpenAI’s Startup Fund are co-leading this Series B, with Andreessen Horowitz and Optum Ventures (two of its very long …

Egress Group acquires Stalis to offer data management to healthcare providers

Egress Group acquires Stalis to offer data management to healthcare providers

Leamington Spa-based data management company Egress Group has acquired Stalis, based in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, a specialist in healthcare data migration and archiving solutions. Together, the two companies have a unique offering for the healthcare sector, providing complete, end-to-end data management services and solutions. The acquisition combines more than half a century’s experience working on large-scale, complex, multi-system healthcare change programmes. Stalis is best known as a leading supplier of data migration and data quality expertise, as well as archiving solutions, in this sector. Egress Group’s delivers multiple, healthcare system integration and interoperability programmes. Together, the two companies will offer a unique proposition to the healthcare sector – true, end-to-end data management services and solutions, from strategic reviews and readiness assessments, data migration, system integration, archiving and data quality, through to advanced analytics for proactive and predictive care. Recent projects Stalis include West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. Egress Group has significant system integration and interoperability experience, proven in a number of recent NHS transformation programmes. These include East Lancashire …