Concerns are growing about sharing patient data with large healthcare technology companies

Stat and The Markup report on what they say is “out of control” health data sharing. Separately, the AP reports that it’s actually difficult to reach Medicaid providers in New Mexico by phone to schedule appointments.

The statistics and flagging: ‘Out of control’: Dozens of telehealth startups sent sensitive health information to big tech companies

Open the Workit Health website and the path to treatment begins with a simple intake form: Are you at risk of harming yourself or others? If not, what is your current use of opiates and alcohol? How much methadone do you use? Within minutes, patients seeking online treatment for opiate use and other addictions can complete an assessment and book a video visit with a provider licensed to prescribe suboxone and other medications. But what patients probably don’t know is that Workit sends their sensitive, even intimate, responses about drug use and self-harm to Facebook. (Palmer, Fairs, and Foundry-Tytler, 12/13)

In other healthcare industry news –

AP: Study: Medicaid providers in most cases can’t be reached by phone

“Mystery Shopper” Accountability Study Shows Medical Patients Can’t Easily Schedule Appointments By Phone Through Medicaid Providers In New Mexico, Despite State And Federal Government Spending $8.8 Billion Annually On The Health Care Program, Which Serves Nearly half of the state’s population. The Legislative Budget and Accountability Office presented its findings Tuesday to a panel of lawmakers as evidence of an inadequate network of health care providers. (Lee, 12/14)

Statistics: 9 out of 10 healthcare companies with financial stress are privately owned

Almost 90% of healthcare companies deemed by a leading credit rating agency to be under financial stress are owned by private equity, a stark indicator of the weight financial investors have placed on a vital sector. (Banow, 12/14)

Modern Healthcare: Bright Health Eyes reverses stock split to prevent write-offs

Insurtech was notified by the New York Stock Exchange on December 6 that because its average share price had been below $1 over the past 30 days, the company was in danger of being delisted if it did not raise its share price within six months . (Taper, 12/13)

In Healthcare Staff News —

San Francisco Chronicle: Alta Bates Summit nurses plan to strike, Sutter officials say

“The nurses union at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has announced a 9-day strike from December 24th to January 2nd, the third strike of the year,” according to Sutter, who released a statement Tuesday night. Alta Bates Summit has hospitals in Oakland and Berkeley. (Parker, 12/13)

WMFE: AdventHealth Orchestra composed of doctors and nurses who use music for healing

In Central Florida, AdventHealth is known for healthcare. But the organization is made up of people – individuals who have put everything they have into caring for the community. And now they say they have a new way to help—and heal: the AdventHealth Orchestra. (Creston, 12/13)

Reuters: Former pharmacy worker in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak gets prison term

A former employee of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy whose mold-tainted drugs sparked a deadly 2012 statewide outbreak of fungal meningitis was sentenced Tuesday to five months in prison for defrauding regulators about its operations before the tragedy. (Raymond, 12/13)

This is part of KHN’s Morning Briefing, a roundup of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for email subscription.

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