This Week Health

Today: US Health Officials Call for a Surge in Funding around Cyberattacks

We talked about it on Tuesday, and here you go. Hot off the presses.

Transcript

Today in health, it us health officials call for a surge. In funding and support for hospitals in the wake of cyber attacks in the diverted ambulances. And we're going to cover that today. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator this week health. Instead of channels and events dedicated to transform health care, one connection at a time. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders. Short test artist, site parlance, certified health, notable and service.

Now take them out at this week. health.com. Slash today. Alright. Hey, one last thing, share this podcast with a friend or colleague you said as a foundation for daily or weekly discussions. On the topics that are relevant to you in the industry. They can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. All right.

Here's a story directs just sent this to me just minutes ago. Before I was getting ready to record another show about something else. And I thought this is actually much more important. So this is a CNN politics, us health officials, call for surge in funding and support for hospitals in the wake of cyber attacks at diverted ambulances. Let's see. Let's go down to the article.

Here's some excerpts after a spate of cyber attacks that diverted ambulances from us, hospitals, that the department of health and human services. He has unveiled plans to ramp up federal funding. Or for ill protected, rural hospitals and impose stricter fines for lax security at healthcare providers. The new HHS plan shared exclusively with CNN on Wednesday. Is a recognition that the status quo of hacks regularly disrupting healthcare in America is untenable in that federal officials and hospital executives. Need to do much more to combat the problem. This is a really urgent threat.

ATHS deputy secretary Andrea Palm told CNN adding. That there are rural hospitals and other cash strapped facilities that really need help investing in technology and security practices to help them keep up against the threats that are out there. The release of the plan comes after a Thanksgiving day, ransomware attack. On healthcare, conglomerate art and health services, forced hospitals from New Jersey to New Mexico to divert ambulances from emergency rooms. In the last nine months alone, other cyber attacks have resulted in ambulances being diverted from hospitals in Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, and Pennsylvania. The atria test plan focuses on getting more money and training to hospitals that still need. To implement basic cybersecurity protections to keep hackers out of their systems. The department also says it's willing to use a number of authorities, including imposing monetary fives to both force and encourage healthcare organizations to better secure their systems.

Key federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid will be used. As vehicles. Wow. Interesting. But many important details have yet to be ironed out, as you would imagine, the urgency of the atria test comes from the fact that cyber attacks can threaten patient safety. Experts say that lack of money and expertise to deal with cyber attacks is an acute problem from small healthcare providers across the country.

Many of the small health clinics don't have dedicated cybersecurity person on staff. Of the 16 sectors that the federal government has designated critical infrastructure. The health sector has been most disrupted by ransomware, not a surprise. Sometimes hospitals. And never recover from hacking essence.

And we have examples of that. We've talked about this year on the show. Historically federal policies to deal with the problem have failed to keep pace with these growing harms and therefore material not incremental changes are ness. This. Necessitated to preserve the trust and safety of the public. Let's see, sulfur quality is still wow.

They use a curse word in here. So until we get people to write and deploy better code, we are still building critical infrastructure on Swiss cheese, a us official who has long worked on healthcare. Cybersecurity policy told CNN. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity. That's why they can use a curse word.

There you go. Interesting. All right, so what's the, so what on this. This is the precursor for what I believe is going to be a significant amount of funding that is going to come from the federal government. Two health systems. Now it's going to go to health systems in need first. And therefore we're identifying the smaller systems, the federally qualified health clinics, the rural health care systems, the one to hospital type systems.

I'm not sure this would have impacted Arden. Maybe it would have. But they're going to essentially identify a set of health systems that they could invest some funding in that they can put some by which, by the way, the federal government has a fair amount of things. Already in place around what is required to secure these platforms.

Like you can go out and download these different frameworks and models. The problem at some of these smaller systems is there's no one to download the frameworks. There's no one to implement it. And then the the reality is that if they don't even have that basic level, you can imagine when it comes to resiliency and recovery, how minimal the amount of work that has been done around that?

That's why a, an event. Event on a rural system or a smaller system. Could potentially just close the doors of that health system, which is providing critical services to that community. So this follows the New York plan and New York plans a little bit more broad than this. But the New York plan that is currently being worked out and moved into law, which is going to free up about $500 million. Going into the cyberspace in the New York state. I, as after I read that, my, so what on that is that we will see other states follow suit.

We will see the. We'll see California file suit. And potentially some other large states. Follow suit on that one. And the states that don't, I think we will see federal action. And this is the start of that federal action. Which I think is going to start again with the the systems of need. And I think it's going to get broader than that.

And I think it's going to be M you kind of money. So I think there will be a significant amount of money flowing into healthcare, cybersecurity practices and enhancing those practices over the next couple of years. And it will be flowing out of the federal government and the state government. And it's necessary.

This is the kind of infrastructure. If our roads were in the kind of shape that our cybersecurity was in health systems. We would deem that a, an emergency and we would start funding it almost immediately. There are it's beyond potholes. There are roads that there are bridges that are out and there are roads that aren't even Drivable anymore.

It's that kind of level of infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt and it, because it's cyber, you don't see it. And you don't feel it until your ambulance gets diverted. And so that's, what's going on. All right. We will keep an eye on this one. See how it progresses. That's all for today. Don't forget, share this podcast with a friend or colleague, and we want to thank our sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. They are short test artist, site parlance, certified health, notable and 📍 service now.

Great companies. Check them out at this week. health.com/today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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