Another black eye for EHRs

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—Sitting in my hotel room the night before the end of TEPR, I just received an article from NextGov, a publication I had not been familiar with, but which seems to have a good amount of health IT coverage. (I might have to pitch some ideas of my own the editor.)

This particular story is alarmingly headlined: “Cyber criminals overseas steal U.S. electronic health records” According to the report, “medical records are a ‘platinum card’ for organized crime, which can rake in millions of dollars from false billings, said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum.”

Another source is quoted as saying stolen U.S. health data, including diagnoses, medical histories, prescriptions, insurance information and Social Security numbers, was found on a Russian-registered server in Malaysia.

Happy reading!

As for TEPR, the conference itself is really small, particularly when compared to the last time in Fort Lauderdale in 2004, when David Brailer delivered his first major speech as national health IT coordinator, and the opening session also included Bill “Dr. HIPAA” Braithwaite and the legendary Dr. Larry Weed.

This year’s conference has been truncated from four days to three, and Cerner and NextGen are among the vendors who are conspicuously absent from the trade show. In fact, Mark Anderson’s AC Group had a bigger booth than McKesson.

For that matter, Google not only was not here, the company held its own event on the opposite coast on Monday to launch Google Health.

However, the educational presentations I’ve been to have been very good, though the compressed schedule means that some time slots had two dozen concurrent sessions, so I missed a few I would have liked to have seen.

I recorded a new podcast here on Tuesday, and hope to have it up soon.