In The Know

November 2016 Cyber Security Summary

Posted by Julia Foster on December 1, 2016 in Blog


November 2016 Cyber Security Summary

As we near the end of the fall season, data shows a continued decline in healthcare records compromised compared to the crazy amount of healthcare records compromised this summer. Data breaches in November 2016 included a facility with a stolen hard drive, hackers from overseas, and packets mailed with labels that showed personal health information. Here is a breakdown of all healthcare related hacks:


Since the beginning of the year:
So far there has been a total of 932 total data breaches in the United States. 337 of those were healthcare breaches. Overall 42% of the 34 million records compromised this year were in the healthcare field.


Notable Data Breaches in November:

Stolen Hard Drive
There were 3,000 patients notified by a spine center in Texas earlier this month about a data breach due to a stolen hard drive. The external hard drive contained patients’ information such as social security numbers, addresses, birthdays and diagnosis. So far, there is no evidence of inappropriate use of information. However, victims are still encouraged to look at their finances to make sure that there are no stolen identities.


A vascular health center in Georgia recently notified their patients of a data breach that occurred due to an outside source gaining access to one of their servers. The hackers which are suspected to be from outside the U.S. were able to access the server with a compromised password.  They had access to the server from March until September before the facility officials realized. Luckily, the server did not contain any social security numbers or financial info. However, it did have medical records and demographic information.


Mailing Labels
A healthcare provider mailed all of their patients informational packets containing details on with their Medicare Prescription Drug coverage. While preparing these packets for mailing something went wrong, and patients’ HIC Numbers (a Medicare ID number which consists of a person’s social security number and a letter) were printing on each mailing label. While this was a mistake and not an intentional breach of information, it compromised many healthcare records.


Eat, Drink and Be Thankful ICD-10 Style: 9 ICD-10 Codes for Thanksgiving

Posted by Julia Foster on November 23, 2016 in Blog


9 ICD-10 Codes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the official kickoff to the holiday season and the holiday season is the “busiest time of the year.” This is especially true in the HIM industry.  Here are some codes you might be seeing after this Thanksgiving.

Y93.G3 – Activity, Cooking and Baking
Lots of food gets made on Thanksgiving, more cooking and baking equals more chances for injuries

W27.4XXA- Contact with kitchen utensil
You can’t cook (or eat) without utensils

Z74.2- Need for assistance at home and no other household member able to render care
It can get a little overwhelming if you are the only one preparing the Thanksgiving meal.

X10.2XXA contact with hot fats and cooking oils
Be careful deep frying the turkey.

W61.42XA- Struck by Turkey
Turkey, it’s what’s for dinner.

T28.0XXA- Burn of mouth and pharynx
However, don’t eat it before it’s cool.

Z72.4- Inappropriate diet and eating habits
Who doesn’t overeat a little on Thanksgiving?

R46.4 – Slowness and poor responsiveness
Can you say food coma!

Y92.011 – Dining room of single-family (private) house as the place of occurrence of the external cause
Because the most important part of Thanksgiving is spending quality time with friends and family and there’s no better way to do that than gathered around the dining room table.


October 2016 Cyber Security Summary

Posted by Julia Foster on November 3, 2016 in Blog, News


October 2016 Cyber Security Summary

While there were still almost 150,000 people affected by data breaches in October, there were less compromised records last month than in the months previous.  Data breaches last month included a facility with permanently lost information, phishing emails, and private info being made available for 5 months!



Since the Beginning of the year:

Since the beginning of 2016 there have been a total of 845 data breaches consisting of almost 30 million records compromised! Healthcare data breaches make up for around 35% of the total data breaches, but almost half of the total records compromised!


Lost Information

A children’s hospital was the source of a ransomware attack effecting over 30,000 patients.  Once the hospital detected that hackers were encrypting data, they immediately shut down their computer system to prevent losing any records. Even with these measures taken, some data was unable to be recovered. The unrecoverable data included information like demographics, medical history, and billing information. Since then, the hospital has taken steps to strengthen its security and notify patients of the breach.


The Phishing Email

A phishing email was sent out to the employees of a health center, based out of Massachusetts, in an attempt to gain access to important files. Phishing emails, which often come in the form of an official looking email, are scams that attempt to trick users into downloading software or into visiting an infected website, so that the hacker can gain access to the system. This particular incident caused the hacker to gain access to over 13,000 patient’s medical records. Although there has been no evidence that any of the information is being used illegally, patients have all been notified and given a support number to call if needed.



A physical therapy and fitness center was the victim of a data breach that exposed their client’s information including social security numbers and Medicare numbers. It came to their attention that their client’s information had been accessible to unauthorized users through Amazon Web Services for almost 5 months. So far, they have no evidence of misuse of any of the information.




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5 Ways to Stand Out On LinkedIn

Posted by Julia Foster on October 10, 2016 in Blog

5 Ways to Stand Out On LinkedIn


In most cases, the first thing a recruiter or potential employer will do after seeing a qualified resume is look up the candidate on LinkedIn. With the job market being so competitive it is important that you shine on every level of candidate screening. A strong LinkedIn profile is a great way to start!


Say Cheese

Studies show your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if you have a profile picture. Profile pictures help recruiters/potential employers put a face to a name and see candidates as real people opposed to just resumes. However, having the wrong picture can hurt you, so make sure that you picture is professional. It is best to have a headshot taken in professional clothing against a plain background.


Create a Catchy Headline

This is the first thing that recruiters and potential employers will see when they view your profile. This is your opportunity to list a catchy, yet professional, description of yourself that will make recruiter/potential employers want to keep reading.


Include Key Words in Your Profile

This is important.  When potential employers, especially recruiters, are looking for candidates they will use LinkedIn, as they would use any other search engine, to perform mass searches for candidates. If you do not have the correct key words in your profile you will not show up in their search results.

Make sure to carefully think of words that will be searched in your industry and make a point to add them into your profile. Tip: Always make sure you have your credentials listed at least once in your profile.



This is your place to shine. Think about who will bel reading your LinkedIn profile most often and what they will want to see. In your summary you can include things such as accomplishments, areas you excel, and important facts or stats. Note: This is a great place to add some of those key words to your profile!


Join Groups

There is a group for everything on LinkedIn. Joining groups is a great way to strengthen connections with other like-minded people. Groups make it easy to connect by sharing relevant topics with and directly messaging other members. Tip: Don’t know where to star? Search by your industry and educational background.




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September 2016 Cyber Security Summary

Posted by Julia Foster on October 6, 2016 in Blog


September 2016 Cyber Security Summary

September, yet again, turned out to be an eventful month when it comes to Cyber Security. There were many notable breaches including a ransomware attack, a twitter leak, and a facility that was forced to shut down their computers for 3 weeks.


Cyber Security since the Beginning of 2016:

Since the beginning of 2016, 725 data breaches have occurred, 223 of which were healthcare related. There has also been almost 14,000,000 healthcare records compromised during this time!


Healthcare Data Breach Highlights from September 2106:


Political Attack

A Ukrainian hacker going by the name of Pravyy Sector hacked into the systems of one of the largest urology groups in Ohio. They are thought to be part of a radical right-wing Ukrainian group. The group posted a screenshot containing patient information on their twitter account, along with access to a Google Drive account containing the information from over 300,000 patients. When speaking with different sources, Pravyy Sector states that this attack was politically motivated and they have plans for more attacks in the future.



A spine center in New Jersey fell victim to a ransomware attack effecting almost 28,000 patients. CryptoWall, the ransomware used the in the attack, locked providers out of patient’s records, and disabled the facility’s phone system. The ransomware had access to patient demographics, medical history, and even credit card information. Although there is no evidence suggesting that the information was being used in a harmful way, the facility saw no other option and agreed to pay the ransom.


Virus Attack

A large health system based in West Virginia suffered from a virus attacking their computer system. In order to stop the spread of the virus throughout the system, they shut down their computer system for three weeks. During this time, facilities remained open however, they were required to do everything manually, and had limited access to patient medical history. So far, there is no evidence of misuse of any patient information, and the system is back up and running.


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CDI Week 2016 – September 19th-23rd

Posted by Julia Foster on September 19, 2016 in Blog, News


CDI Week 2016 – September 19th-23rd

This year marks the 6th annual Clinical Documentation Improvement Week!  This week, which according to, “is a time to recognize CDI specialists for the critical role they perform within the healthcare industry,” will be held from September 19th-23rd, 2016.

This week is sponsored by ACDIS, the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists. “It’s also a time for those working as CDI specialists to thank their partners in the documentation process, which include physicians, other clinicians, and HIM/coding professionals,” the organization says.  The theme for this year is CDI in Concert: Your Ticket to Collaboration.


7 Phone Interview Tips

Posted by Amanda Harner on September 12, 2016 in Blog, News


7 Tips and Tricks to Help You Stand Out on a Phone Interview

Your resume has made it through HR, now they are ready to set up an interview! Only, they don’t want to set up an in-person interview, but a phone interview. Here are 7 tips to make sure you ace any phone interview.


Treat it the Same as an In-Person Interview

It is tempting to lounge on the couch in your sweatpants during a phone interview, but don’t do it. Take time to wake up and get dressed before the interview, this will help get you in the right mindset. Sit down at a table or desk, as if you were meeting with someone. Even though they cannot see you, getting up, getting dressed and acting the part will make you feel and sound more confident during the interview.


Be 100% Focused

Be Present. Don’t have anything going on in the background that might distract you or the interviewer. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and focused, with no interruptions from friend, family, pets, etc. This might mean getting a babysitter for you children or a pet sitter for your pets. Just as you wouldn’t answer a phone call or text during a face-to-face interview, make sure you phone is off or on silent and there are no potential interruptions.


Cheat Sheets

A big advantage of the interviewer not being able to see you, is that you can have any and as many notes as you want.  Having clean, clear and organized notes in front of you can help you make sure you hit all of the talking points you want to and help out if you get stuck. Not being face-to-face also allows you to take more notes throughout the interview, these notes can help you ask detailed thought-out questions at the end. These detailed questions will let your interviewer know that you were paying attention. Note: Do not get so caught up in taking notes you forget to be present in the interview.



 Even though the interviewer cannot see you, smiling is reflected in your voice. Customer service representatives are taught to smile on the phone, even though customers can’t see them. Studies have shown that if you smile, your tone of voice will reflect it. Since, the interviewer will not be able to see your face, it is important to come across as friendly and interested. Speaking in a flat, unhappy tone will make it seem as if you are not interested or bored, so… smile!


Pause Before You Answer

When the interviewer asks you a question, take a second and pause before answering. This is a good practice, for both in-person and phone interviews, for two reasons. People are often nervous during interviews and are quick to answer before they even realize what they are saying. Taking a breath before will give you the opportunity to gather your thoughts for the best answer possible. Also, it makes sure that the interviewer is done asking the question, and you don’t accidently interrupt.


Do a Practice Run

 Even if you know you can nail an in-person interview, phone interviews are much different. It might be a good idea to record yourself, or do a practice run with a friend, so that you know exactly how you come across on the phone.


Send a Follow Up

Just as an in-person interview, it is helpful to send a follow-up email or note after the interview. Make sure to thank the interviewer for their time spent with you, and let them know that you are still interested in the position.


August 2016 Cyber Security Summary

Posted by Julia Foster on September 1, 2016 in Blog, News

Cyber Security Smmary (2)

Cyber Security Summary – August 2016

August was not a good month for healthcare cyber security! The month ended up having an extremely high amount of compromised healthcare records, with two different data breaches consisting of over 3,000,000 compromised records each.

August 2016 Healthcare Data Breach Summary:

cybersecurity table

Cyber Security Since The Beginning of 2016:

Since the beginning of the year there have been 638 total data breaches, 187 of which were in the healthcare field which has resulted in over 13,000,000 records stolen in the healthcare industry!


Healthcare Data Breaches Highlights from August 2016:


The Insurance Companies

A company based out of New York, which provides ID cards for insurance companies, was involved in a data breach where over 3 million records were compromised. The data contained the members’ names, mailing addresses and dates of birth. As of now, there is no evidence that suggests that the data is being used inappropriately, however Blue Cross and Blue Shield, who were among the companies that were affected, are offering two years of identity protection services to their customers at no charge.


The Health System

As we touched on in our last cyber security summary, a healthcare facility in Arizona was the victim of a huge data breach in the beginning of August. The breach included a variety of different information including names, social security numbers, addresses and dates of birth, previous medical services, and even credit card information from individuals who purchased items from the food and beverage outlets! This was one on the largest hospital breached to date.


Employee’s Info

An Anesthesiology group who is also based out of Arizona discovered a cyberattack consisting of almost 900,000 records that took place sometime between March and June.  A computer forensics team was hired to conduct an investigation on the incident however, no unauthorized use of the data has been reported so far. Names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and even employee tax and financial information were among the information that was stolen.


August 2016 Infographic

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Pros and Cons of Telehealth Visits

Posted by Julia Foster on August 26, 2016 in Blog, News

Pros and Cons of Telehealth Visits


Telehealth Visits

In a society where it can be hard to find a spare minute, going to the doctor is sometimes put on the back burner. However, over the past few years telehealth visits, also referred to as eVisits, have become increasingly more popular. These visits, which are conducted via video chat, offer everything a regular office visit would including a full assessment and the prescribing of medication, if needed. Because these visits are conducted over video chat, people are able to see their doctor whenever and wherever they need.

Some major health systems, such as Cleveland Clinic are offering telehealth visits as a side option, but there are also companies, such as Doctor On Demand, whose sole dedication is providing telehealth visits for patients who cannot get into see their regular doctor. Telehealth visits, like all new things, come with pros and cons:




Seeing a doctor virtually allows patients to see their doctor anywhere, which can be a huge time saver for both the patients and the providers. It allows patients to see their doctors without having to deal with the trouble of commuting to the office and waiting for the doctor to be available. This is ideal for people who are often pressed for time, or who just aren’t feeling well and don’t feel like going out. Also great for parents with sick a sick child or children because pulling a sick kiddo out of bed is never fun.

Keeps simple colds and flus out of the office

Many times a provider can easily diagnose a simple illness, such as a seasonal cold or flu, via video with no problem. Keeping patients with minor (and contagious) illnesses out of the office gives providers more time to see patients whose issues can only be taken care of in-person. Keeping contagious patients at home also keeps them from spreading germs around the office, which is not only a great benefit for other patients, but staff members as well. Plus, who wants to leave their house when battling a cold or the flu.

Cheaper for patients and provider

Seeing patients virtually means that there is no need for the cost of a facility. Many eVisits are a flat fee of around $40 per visit with no coverage and if the patient’s insurance carrier does provide coverage for eVisits, then they just pay their normal copay. This method also allows for a much simpler billing method since the patient knows up front what they will be paying, and the bill can be easily paid online.

Rural area patients

Patients is rural areas often times do not have access to the same quality of care as patients who live in urban areas. Seeing a doctor via video means that the doctor can be physically located anywhere, so patients can see highly rated primary care physicians or specialists that they did not have access to due to location.



Not as personable

Seeing a physician over video chat vs in-person leads to some physical limitations such as touch and non-verbal cues. So, if the provider does not feel they can adequately asses the patient via a telehealth visit, they will need to refer them to be seen in-person.

Reliability of technology

As with all forms of technology, there are sometimes glitches. Technical difficulties, such as sound or video not working properly, can disrupt a telehealth visit. There are also some security concerns since the visit is done over the computer.

Not always covered by insurance
While the overall cost of the visit is cheaper, many insurance companies still do not fully cover telehealth visits. Because of this, many patients still opt for seeing their provider in person even when it’s not necessary because there is a lower out-of-pocket fee.


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3 Tips to Stay Productive While Working From Home

Posted by Amanda Harner on August 8, 2016 in Blog, News

Setting You up for Success- Working from home

3 Tips and Tricks to Keep You Productive and Motivated While Working at Home.


Working from home definitely has its perks, just to name a few, no commute, no dress code and it can keep you close to family, but many remote professionals find staying productive and motivated is their biggest obstacle.  Here are 3 tips and tricks to help you stay productive and motivated, while enjoying all the benefits of working from home:


  1. Dress for Success

By no means are we suggesting you should wake up each morning and dress in formal attire.  What we are suggesting is, not to roll out of bed and just start working.   Work from home employees find they feel more productive and motivated when they get ready for the day.  “[Getting dressed] is important because it sets the mindset that I’m in a place of business and I am professional” explains Claude Delgado, remote worker and founder of D Graphic Solutions.  When you are dressed and prepared for the day you are more likely to handle work matters in a professional manner.


  1. Designate Yourself a Work Area

Somewhere in your home you should have an area that is exclusively for working.  This will help you keep your work life separate from your personal life and vice versa.  Your work space should be located away from any commotion or distractions.  This area should be somewhere you want to be.  Invest in a comfy desk chair, nice lighting or some personal décor; having a space you enjoy being in will help keep you motivated and productive throughout your work day.


  1. Avoid Distraction

Working in an office sets boundaries and gives less opportunities for personal distractions.  When working from home you have to take extra steps to stay focused and avoid distractions. The best way to do this is by pretending you are not home.  When you are working pretend you are away from your home.  Do not answer the door or the phone, don’t do any household chores and try to avoid running personal errands.  At times, this is easier said than done, especially if you have children and/or other family members in the home.  One way to deal with distractions from family members and/or children is to create some type of signal to put outside your work area.  This signal tells family members when it is okay and when it is not okay for them to interrupt you.  Computers also create distractions, to avoid computer distractions you may want to install browser plug-ins that block certain websites that may get you sidetracked.