Yes! Poho launches 24Hourcare online consumer health website

The platform aims to provide all kinds of allopathic and Ayurvedic medicines 24/7 at an affordable price to their consumers through the verified pharmacies nearby.

Yes! Poho, a TechnoExperience social platform has launched 24Hourcare, an online consumer health website to meet all the medical needs of people during the COVID-19 crisis. The platform aims to provide all kinds of allopathic and Ayurvedic medicines 24/7 at an affordable price to their consumers through the verified pharmacies nearby.

The website intends to offer medical care by offering electronic pharmacy, online video call doctor consultation, and online lab test booking in one place, making it reasonable and hassle-free. for the customers. 24Hourcare also provides medication and healthcare related content written by doctors and trained healthcare professionals for their clients.

The platform offers medicines, basic necessities, personal care and well-being products, nutritional supplements, a range of baby care, etc. by connecting every citizen living in the country to the most remote regions of the country. 24Hourcare also allows local pharmacies, doctors and lab technicians to come together in one place, making the process quick and convenient for everyone.

Raghuram Kuchibhatla, Founder and CEO of Yes! Poho said: “With this launch, our goal is to deliver original medicines at affordable prices to all who need them on time. Especially during the pandemic, when going out is really risky, people can buy drugs, book lab tests from the comfort of their own homes. We are committed to helping all people live longer and healthier lives. In this direction, the 24Hourcare platform is our small contribution to make this world a better place by helping Indians with health related services.


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Eight Proven Ways To Instill Confidence And Credibility With Your Healthcare Website

Don’t waste business – or, more importantly, the chance to help patients in need – because of poor website design.

This article was originally published on June 5, 2020 on PSQH by Katie Lundin.

If you work in the healthcare industry, you know the importance of cultivating confidence.

Health can be a very personal matter. Healthcare providers make life and death decisions for their patients. And patients make themselves vulnerable (financially with their health insurance and physically with their medical team) with every interaction. The personal stakes cannot be higher. This is why building a base of competence, credibility and reliability is essential for every company in the healthcare sector.

Since your website is your primary online ambassador and a central part of your brand identity, if it doesn’t inspire trust, you will lose customers. Don’t just take my word for it: 75% of people judge a company’s credibility based on its website. And people can judge healthcare companies even more harshly because the potential stakes are so high.

Don’t waste business – or, more importantly, the chance to help patients in need – because of poor website design. Here are eight tips to make your healthcare website design more believable and trustworthy.

Keep your website patient-centric

The patients-people-are the lifeblood of the healthcare industry, so your website should be designed with your patients in mind. If patients or potential patients can’t easily find what they need, your website has failed in its sole purpose and you’ve probably lost a customer.

Avoid healthcare industry jargon

The healthcare industry is complex, as is the language spoken by healthcare professionals. But on your website, it’s important that the language is kept simple and easy to understand for patients and future patients.

To make your website accessible, check all of its copies from a layman’s perspective. Will the average patient understand what you have written? Otherwise, revise your copy until it’s clear, easy to understand, and free from confusing industry terminology.

Make it easy for people to contact you

Many people will come to your website to schedule a visit, get an answer to a question about their insurance, or how to speak with their doctor. But whatever the reason for their visit, they will probably have to call you as their next step. Therefore, make it easier to find your contact details.

Clearly display contact information on each page so patients can easily reach you when they’re ready. This simple act shows your willingness to interact with your patients and shows that you care.

Also, make sure your business name is specific and clear. Many healthcare companies are incorporated under one name but operate under an assumed name. If you do this, you must register a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name with your state and / or local governments. To learn more, find out how to file a DBA in each state and territory of the United States.

Provide clear and simple website navigation

The last thing a patient has to deal with when browsing health issues (and your website) is a confusing layout. Overly minimalist designs that hide all menu options – or oversized sites that get stuck in too many navigation options – are bad choices for a healthcare website.

Avoid hidden navigation in favor of organized menus that clearly address the most common patient needs. The most important pages should be easy to find. Mayo Clinic does a fantastic job on its home page (shown above).

Pro tip: Use Google Analytics to determine which pages on your website are getting the most traffic. Then check that these pages are easily accessible from the navigation menus on your home page. And make sure your mobile browsing is just as clean and straightforward.

Design your website for fast loading speeds

A website that takes too long to load is one that no one will stick around to see.

As we pointed out: Did you know that people start to abandon your website after a few seconds of loading? Between seconds four and five of your website’s load time, 20% of visitors have already left your site. The percentage only increases from there. Not only that, the faster your website loads, the higher it ranks in the search engines and the easier it is to find.

Design with load speeds in mind. You don’t know how? Find out more here.

Make your site accessible

People of all health levels will need to access your website. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61 million adults in the United States have some type of disability. That’s just over a quarter of Americans.

Add to that number those who are sick and those who are stressed as a result of injury or illness of a family member, and you can assume that many visitors to your website will experience some kind of disability. It is essential that your website design ensures that these users get what they need.

Accessible web design ensures that everyone who visits your website can navigate it successfully. And it shows that your healthcare business knows and cares about its audience.

Keep in mind the following accessibility tips:

  • Use higher contrast ratios to improve visibility
  • Avoid designs that rely too much on color – think about color blind users
  • Use a consistent navigation scheme for ease of use
  • Make sure your website can be accessed using a mouse or keyboard
  • Use responsive design to suit whatever type of screen your visitor uses
  • Use lots of white space to make your website easy to read

For more detailed advice on web-accessible design, read this UC Berkeley article.

Make sure your website is HIPAA compliant

As you know, in the US healthcare system, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs much of what healthcare companies do.

Many patients today are also aware of HIPAA. If your website is not HIPAA compliant, you run the risk of looking very unprofessional (at a minimum), paying expensive fines, or even going to jail (at a maximum).

What does a HIPAA compliant web design look like? Here are some guidelines to get you started:

  • Your website must protect patient data. All files, data storage and data transmissions must be SSL encrypted.
  • Electronically Protected Health Information (ePHI) should not appear anywhere on your website. This includes testimonials, case studies, and web copy.
  • Does your website encourage new patients to fill out a form to make an appointment? Make sure the data on this form is protected. Even simple contact information (name, email, and phone number) should be encrypted.

You can read more about HIPAA website compliance here.

Create a unique website design that inspires confidence

As we mentioned, patients trust the healthcare industry for their well-being. But it’s hard to give a business confidence if their website is full of typos or poor design.

There is no room for error in your copy, coding, or design. Not paying attention to details like these will drive visitors away.

Also, if your site uses a template and looks like thousands of other healthcare sites, your patients and future patients will not be able to differentiate you from your many competitors. This also goes for the elements of your brand identity, including your company name and logo. Make sure the two are unique.

As we pointed out in our guide to starting a business, a new business depends on its website as an essential ambassador and a crucial part of its marketing and branding strategy. But this is also true for an existing business. It’s too easy for people to assume that a lack of attention to detail on your website means you’ll also be lax with the health care or health insurance duties that are so important to your patients.

When building or updating your website, make sure to:

  • Proofread your web copy for grammar, spelling and information errors.
  • Hire a professional to design your website. Avoid website builders and generic website templates (even though they’re free).
  • Test your website for functional errors. Make sure all links and forms are working as they should.

Look at your website with the same critical eye you would apply to a patient’s chart or insurance documents. No detail is too small. If you can’t find the mistakes, potential patients will.

Website Design Trends

Web design keeps evolving. This constant movement leads to evolution, innovation and sometimes regrettable trends in website design. Still, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for trends, as they often lay the groundwork for new best practices. Here’s a great look at the latest trends in website design.

Health has never been more important. And your healthcare business, whether you provide medical or financial support, plays a vital role in the well-being of patients. Don’t let your important work be held back by poor web design.

Your business needs a strong and professional website to better serve its patients. Follow the tips we have shared and you will make a stronger impression and gain more patients.

Katie Lundin is a Marketing and Branding Specialist at crowd, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for logo design, web design, graphic design, product design and corporate naming services.

Patient safety and quality health care The mission is to provide news, science, research and a forum of opinion for clinicians, healthcare professionals and all those who wish to improve the quality of healthcare. Learn more.


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7 essentials for your health site

Just because your practice has a website doesn’t mean you are effectively reaching your audience

In today’s world, meeting patients where they are means marketing and communicating with them online. This is especially true in healthcare, where patients have more options than ever before due to more extensive health insurance coverage and a wider choice of providers via the Internet.

In fact, most patients go to the internet first when looking for a provider, which means that your website is often your first impression on potential patients.

But just because your doctor’s office has a website doesn’t mean you are effectively reaching your audience. Consider this: When a potential patient searches on Google, they often get millions of results, even for terms like “cardiologist” or “primary care physician.” How to differentiate your practice from others?

Your website is your secret weapon – and you need to optimize it for the best possible patient experience. Starting with these seven essentials below can make a big impact without requiring significant time or financial investment.

1. Security. As the internet has become a part of our daily life over the past decades, most of us have learned to make sure the websites we visit are secure.

We want to know that the information we provide is private and secure. This is true on any website, but it’s crucial on a healthcare website. This isn’t just because it’s what patients want, but also because your website, just like your patient records, is HIPAA regulated.

You’ll want to make sure that you have an SSL certificate and HIPAA-compliant online contact forms, while partnering with a HIPAA-compliant website hosting provider that has PHI protection protocols. .

Take the first step in this direction by starting a conversation with your website designer or host about website security and HIPAA compliance.

2. Mobile friendliness. Did you know that, according to Google, four in five patient encounters start with a web search on a mobile phone? Patients and search engines prefer mobile-friendly websites with a responsive design.

A mobile-friendly website isn’t just recommended, it’s essential. Make sure your website design is responsive which means your site can transform to fit any screen size. You’ll also want to make key information easy to find, and make sure that the buttons and hyperlinks are large enough to be easily clicked.

Site speed is also important. Make sure your website loads quickly, as less than 10% of people will stay on a site that doesn’t load quickly.

3. Easily accessible contact details. Key information, especially your contact details, should be easy to find.

It can be as simple as making sure your phone number is visible and clickable on your homepage, or as complex as giving users an easy way to sign up for a program or make an appointment. . Whatever options you choose, make sure the path from start to finish is easy for patients to navigate.

4. Clearly listed locations. If someone makes an appointment with your establishment or even plans to do so, they will want to know or to find you.

The Locations page is typically one of the most viewed pages on any healthcare website. So, finding the page placements and analyzing the information on that page should be transparent and easy to do for your audience.

Put the location information in an obvious place on your website and make sure the information is easily readable and understandable. It should include key details about the locations, including what services are offered and how to get there.

5. Supplier Information. When we are worried about our health, there is a great deal of fear and worry. For this reason, an important and sometimes underestimated part of healthcare is building a level of trust between providers and patients.

You can start cultivating this trust through your website. Use the pages on your site to build confidence in the care you provide and help your audience see your providers as the experts in their field. Make sure your providers’ credentials are clearly visible, but remember that patients also want to develop a comfortable and trusting relationship with their provider.

Expertise matters, so focus on education, scholarships, board certifications and more, but keep in mind that many other providers have these credentials as well. Add more personal information or even videos to the provider bio to help patients get to know them.

6. Insurance details. Insurance coverage is often the driving force behind the decisions we make about healthcare. For this reason, many patients visit a health care provider’s website for information on accepting their insurance plans.

This information should be easy to find on your website – and easy to decipher. Present it legibly and comprehensively, providing all the details that potential and current patients would be looking for.

7. Updated lists. Did you know that almost 50% of all Google searches are “click-free” which means the searcher didn’t click anything at all? Many patients make decisions based on the results on a Google map or another website like Healthgrades or ZocDoc.

If a patient never finds their way to your website, there is no way you can impress them with a positive first impression.

To make sure your audience finds its way to your site, be sure to regularly check and update your Google, Bing, and Yahoo business listings, as well as any industry-specific listings.

Part of this involves patients who have had a positive experience reviewing your healthcare practice, as it helps build trust with potential patients.

One step after another

There is no need to make updates and improvements to your website at the same time. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, prioritize a few improvements per week and work on them if time permits. Or find a trusted partner who can take some of the heavy lifting off you.

Rachael Sauceman is head of strategic initiatives for Full Media, a digital marketing agency based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, specializing in healthcare. Full Media offers a full range of healthcare digital marketing capabilities including website design, online advertising, SEO, patient experience optimization, and analytics.


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Hackers attack Indian healthcare website, steal 68 lakh records

In a startling revelation, US cybersecurity firm FireEye said on Thursday that hackers broke into a leading India-based healthcare website, stealing 68 lakh files containing information about patients and doctors.

Without naming the website, FireEye said the cybercriminals – mostly based in China – were selling stolen data directly to healthcare organizations and web portals around the world, including India in underground markets.

In February, a bad actor by the name of ‘fallensky519’ stole 6,800,000 records associated with an India-based healthcare website that contains patient information and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), doctor, PII and credentials, ”FireEye said in its report shared with IANS.

Between October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, FireEye Threat Intelligence observed several databases associated with healthcare for sale on underground forums, many of them for less than $ 2,000.

FireEye said it continues to witness a concerted focus on acquiring health care research by several Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups.

“In particular, it is likely that a unique area of ​​interest is cancer research, reflecting China’s growing concern over rising cancer and death rates, and domestic health care costs. accompanying it, ”noted the cybersecurity agency.

Open source reports indicate that cancer death rates have increased dramatically in recent decades, making cancer the leading cause of death in China.

As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to strive for universal healthcare by 2020, the control of costs and domestic industry will surely affect the PRC’s strategy to maintain political stability, ”he said. FireEye report.

Another likely motivation for APT’s activity is financial: the PRC has one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world, creating lucrative opportunities for domestic companies, especially those that provide treatment or oncology services.

“Targeting medical research and study data can allow Chinese companies to bring new drugs to market faster than their Western competitors,” the report says.

In early April this year, suspected Chinese cyber espionage actors targeted a US-based health center with a strong focus on cancer research with the “EVILNUGGET” malware.

APT22 – a Chinese group that has focused on biomedical, pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations in the past and continues to be active – has also targeted this same organization in previous years.

In the same month, several researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Research were fired over concerns about the theft of medical research on behalf of the Chinese government.

One theme that FireEye has observed among Chinese cyber espionage players targeting the healthcare sector is the theft of large sets of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI).]

Beyond Chinese nexus groups, FireEye Intelligence observed a wide variety of other cyber espionage actors and nation states involved in targeting the healthcare sector, including the Russian nexus APT28.

“The valuable research carried out within some of these institutions continues to be an attractive target for nation states seeking to overtake their domestic industries,” the report noted.

As the use of biomedical devices increases, the potential for them to become an attractive target for disruptive or destructive cyber attacks – especially by actors willing to take greater risk – may present a more contested attack surface than ‘today,’ the report says.


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Native American Doctor and Wife Launch New Health Care Website in Illinois

Ish and Deepali Singla with their children (Courtesy: Facebook)

NEW YORK – Native American physician Ish Singla, interventional cardiologist at Springfield Clinic and his wife Deepali Singla have launched a website to give patients around the world a way to post and read reviews of hospitals, doctors and companies health insurance ; called HealthSoul.com.

Deepali got the initial idea for the website during her high-risk pregnancy for their now one-year-old twins.

Already parents to 9 and 4-year-old daughters, the Singlas searched online for consumer reviews of local hospitals and doctors, but found little information, according to a State Journal Register report, but were ultimately happy with their selection of a Springfield. Obstetrician Clinic and HSHS St. John’s Hospital, where the twins, born 12 weeks prematurely, spent two months in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Costing around $ 100,000 to develop so far, the website has been used by around 70 people, mostly colleagues and friends in the United States and abroad. Ish is hoping they get more from online marketing because he wants HealthSoul to be a more comprehensive and in-depth website for healthcare consumers than Yelp and HealthGrades.com.

According to a 2016 article in the American Bar Association Journal, a 2015 survey by market research firm Mintel Group Ltd. found that 54% of those surveyed said online reviews influenced their purchases.

“The credibility of these reviews is essential for the markets to continue to buzz and consumers to come back again and again. But too much of a good thing can raise eyebrows. The Mintel survey showed that 57% of consumers were suspicious of companies that had only positive reviews, ”the article said.

Singla said revenue from the website, which is free to consumers and healthcare providers, will be generated from advertising and fees that doctors’ offices can pay to be able to request appointments for patients through the site.

The website is packed with features including:

  • Suppliers can also post their ratings on HealthSoul for free and the packages they can purchase will allow them access to additional features on the site as well as the use of positive reviews on their own websites.
  • Doctors, hospitals and insurance companies will be able to create free accounts and respond to consumer reviews, but they will not be able to block or edit them.
  • In addition, patients who wish to post on the site can register and create their own user credentials while having the option of remaining anonymous.
  • The software on the site can detect when users post multiple reviews as a form of harassment or when they may post fake reviews and those reviews can be deleted or blocked.
  • The site uses a five-star rating system and asks reviewers to rate hospitals in five categories: overall satisfaction, physician care, nurse care, hospital cleanliness, and hospital catering.
  • Doctors will be assessed on categories such as hospital care, outpatient care, explanations of diagnoses, confidence, ease of booking appointments, and wait times.
  • Insurance companies will be evaluated based on factors such as customer service, cost satisfaction and claims handling.
  • Patients can post questions to the site that other users and healthcare providers can answer.
  • Patients who are “users” on the site can learn from other users while hospitals and insurance companies, who are “providers” on the site, will have “a way to improve the patient experience by providing timely feedback ”.

Singla said HealthSoul will eventually integrate this health care performance data from the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Singla also noted that hospitals that score high for patient experiences tend to have better scores for “patient outcomes” and that government-released patient satisfaction scores are limited in their usefulness because all of them. patients are not interviewed.

Ish attended medical school in India before coming to the United States for training in internal medicine and cardiology and was at the Springfield Clinic for four years while Deepali holds an MBA.

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MyTransHealth trans healthcare website launches kickstarter

Have you ever made a doctor’s appointment, only to be turned away and tell yourself that your doctor couldn’t help you?

This is a problem that transgender people face on a regular basis in the health care system.

“A lot of times a trans person will walk into a doctor’s office and at the end of the conversation the doctor will thank the trans person for educating them,” Robyn Kanner, 28-year-old graphic designer and transgender woman from Boston. , TI said.

One in four transgender people delay seeking medical treatment because of discrimination, according to a study by the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Kanner, along with three of his friends, founded the MyTransHealth website to combat these issues. All four of the website founders identify as transgender, so MyTransHealth takes what they call a “for trans, by trans” approach to health care.

matranssanté

MyTransHealth launched on Kickstarter earlier this week.

MyTransHealth


The site, which will officially launch in New York and Miami this fall, is designed to connect people with professionals ready to help transgender patients, looking at each physician and healthcare provider individually to ensure quality of care. care.

Since launching a Kickstarter campaign on Monday, MyTransHealth has already raised $ 22,087, more than its goal of $ 20,000. There are still 27 days for people to donate. It seems that Kanner and his colleagues are not the only ones affected by this problem.

“The list of options available to the trans community is much smaller,” Kanner says of healthcare professionals trained to appropriately treat trans patients. “And it’s often without malicious intent – more often than not, it’s without intent at all.”

It’s not just about finding a doctor to perform a routine physical exam or test for strep throat. Transgender patients have a unique set of medical needs, such as the hormone replacement therapy and mental health supports often required for a successful gender transition.

While traditional health resources like ZocDoc or WebMD are open to anyone, the sites leave a lot to be desired by transgender patients.

“We are constantly looking for ways to personalize the ZocDoc experience for our patients,” a ZocDoc representative told TI. “The ‘Professional statement ” The ZocDoc profiles section gives doctors the opportunity to express not only their qualifications and distinctions, but also their philosophies and specialties of care. “

While many doctor profiles on ZocDoc explain that they are suitable for trans, there is currently no way to specifically search only for these professionals and filter out those who are not. “A site like WebMD or ZocDoc might help, but it won’t exactly target you,” Kanner explained. “It’s about finding professionals that the trans community can trust. “

To do this, Kanner and her colleagues individually assess each professional the site will recommend, a process they say sets MyTransHealth apart from other transgender healthcare platforms, like Rad Remedy.

“We screen the doctors themselves before putting them on our website,” Kanner explained. “We don’t just cite the names of the doctors we google. We talk to them personally and train them.

The website was inspired by the founders’ negative experiences in doctor’s offices, ranging from emotionally trying to physically dangerous.

matranssanté

The four founders of MyTransHealth.

MyTransHealth


“I had a doctor who didn’t understand that one of the reasons I had kidney stones was because I was taking estrogen,” Kanner told TI. “Kade Clark [a MyTransHealth cofounder] had a doctor who prescribed her the wrong drugs for six months based on her hormones.

And it wasn’t just the founders of MyTransHealth who experienced these kinds of issues.

“We have received hundreds of emails from people around the world who have been generous enough to share their experiences with us so that we can design MyTransHealth with their needs in mind,” Kanner explained.

The number one complaint?

“Access to hormones,” Kanner told TI. “Without a doubt.”

This is a problem Kanner knows all too well. When she started seeking hormonal treatments for herself in 2006, Kanner says she was turned down by three different therapists. They all told him that they just didn’t have the skills to help him make the transition.

It took a year before she found someone who could help her.

“There can be a lot of control within the system,” Kanner said. “MyTransHealth is manipulating this system.”

matranssanté

Take a look at the MyTransHealth website.

MyTransHealth


“Gatekeeping,” Kanner explained, is the process of controlling the access and rights of a community or individual. For transgender people, being tested can mean the difference between receiving treatments, like hormone replacement therapy, or leaving empty-handed.

“With MyTransHealth, we make sure that when a trans person walks in [to a doctor’s office], the person they’re going to see won’t be weird to them, touch their body strangely, or ask inappropriate questions, ”Kanner said.

It is not a perfect system. Kanner recognizes that accessibility is going to be a major hurdle for the site.

“We have had a lot of people contacting us who may not have citizen status or access to health care where they live, so we are always trying to find ways for those people to benefit as well. of MyTransHealth, ”she noted. .

For Kanner, providing the transgender community with access to quality health care cannot happen quickly enough.

“Last week on an appointment with my new primary care doctor. She asked me why I take Estradiol [a form of the hormone estrogen] and when I replied that it was because I’m a trans woman, she asked me if that would make me grow breasts, ”Kanner said. “All the while I was thinking, ‘How could you not know that hormone replacement therapy would help me grow breasts?’ “


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ISIS Hackers Take Over Local Healthcare Website; the company tries to assure patients that their information is safe

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be out of date. Please look at the history’s timestamp to see when it was last updated.

KROTONA, NY (PIX11) – It’s a danger that could affect anyone with an Internet connection, and it’s courtesy of the terrorist group ISIS. Hundreds of people in all tri-states who logged into their health care provider’s website Thursday night and Friday suffered a very unhealthy shock. An ISIS support group had hacked, leaving many people concerned about the security of their personal information.

When they browsed through the Westchester Health website, they ended up with a webpage proudly stating that the site they were looking for was not only hacked, but was made by a hacker whose hacked site displayed fine prominently the flag of the terrorist group ISIS. , and even said “I love you ISIS”. It all came from an entity called the Moroccan Revolutionary Team.

“It’s very disturbing,” said Manuel Gomez, a former Navy sergeant, NYPD and FBI agent Manuel Gomez, who is now an attorney who founded MG Security Services, a security company in which he is a expert in cybercrime and terrorism.

“Cybercrime is the number two threat” the FBI is investigating internationally, Gomez said, adding that the number one threat is terrorism. “It has to do with terrorism,” Gomez said of the hack.

He also said it had “never been seen before” where a local health care provider’s website had been hacked by an ISIS-related or sympathetic entity.

In fact, Westchester Health itself agreed with him that the cyberattack was a serious threat. He has now restored his website http://www.westchesterhealth.com to its normal configuration, but only after viewing the Moroccan Revolution Team homepage for sixteen hours.

Westchester Health President and CEO Peter Mercurio, MD said the company homepage is strictly a marketing site and patients’ personal information can only be accessed by clicking on a portal. password protected.

“When [patients] went to the website, before they could even access the portal, they got to the information [PIX11 News] got ”- the hacked page of the Moroccan Revolutionary Team.

“I’m annoyed that this continues,” Mercurio said of the hacking in general and on his company’s website. “I care about the well-being of our patients. To this I can say that no damage has been done.


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Obama defends health website as Republicans continue attacks | Barack obama

President Barack Obama on Saturday used his weekly address to advocate for the Healthcare.gov website at the heart of its healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act. The $ 394 million website, which makes it easier for members of the public to buy health insurance, went live on October 1 but suffered from several issues.

This week, website entrepreneurs suffered a congressional grilling, and the administration announced a relaxation of penalties related to the March 31 deadline for members of the public to purchase health insurance. On Monday, Obama was forced to defend the website’s rollout at a press conference live from the White House rose garden.

On Saturday, to put it mildly, the President said: “As you may have heard, the site is not yet functioning as it should.”

In their official response to the address, the Republicans remained on the attack. Representative Fred Upton, Chairman of the House of Commons Energy and Commerce Committee who will interview Obama’s Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius next week, said: “Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers invested, the website is still not working for the most part. ”

A number of Republicans have called for Sebelius’ resignation.

As Healthcare.gov grappled with issues, delays and bugs, the Obama administration withstood a week of scathing attacks from Republicans seeking to present a united front and capitalize on the issue after their failure to fund reform, known as Obamacare, via the recent 16-day government shutdown.

On Friday night, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, one of the architects of the shutdown, spoke in Des Moines, Iowa. Addressing an annual Republican fundraising dinner, he said: “One of the things we’ve accomplished in the fight against Obamacare is we’ve raised the national debate on what disaster, what train wreck , how Obamacare is hurting millions of Americans across this country. “

On Saturday, pollster Whit Ayres indicated Republican determination to prosecute the president further when he told The Associated Press: These are just one of the many fundamental problems with this law.

Senator Ted Cruz spoke in Iowa on Friday evening. Photograph: Jim Bourg / Reuters

In his speech, Obama sought to counter such views when he said, “It is… interesting to see Republicans in Congress expressing so much concern that people are having difficulty purchasing health insurance through the new website. – especially since they have spent the last few years so obsessed with denying these same people access to health insurance that they have just shut down the government and threatened not to do so.

“As I have said many times before, I am ready to work with anyone, on any idea, who is genuinely ready to improve the performance of this law. But it is high time that people cease to take root for its failure. “

On Friday, the contractor appointed by the White House to fix the website, Jeffrey Zients, set a timeline for his mission when he said, “By the end of November, Healthcare.gov will be running smoothly for the vast majority. users. The .gov site is repairable. It will take a lot of work and there are a lot of issues that need to be resolved. “

The website is supposed to make finding health insurance as easy as buying “a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon.” In his speech, Obama said, “In the coming weeks we are going to make it work as well as expected. We have people working overtime, 24/7 to increase capacity and fix these issues, every day. . “

The president also described other ways for members of the public to purchase health care, including “over the phone, by mail or in person with a specially trained navigator who can help answer your questions.”
As a sign of the damage caused by the website’s poor performance, a former Obama administration official told Reuters that even if the website was fixed, it would face skepticism from the general public.

The former official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I think people are going to like the site and sign up for it. The problem is that once a user has a bad experience on a website , he usually does not go. want to go back. “


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Obama appoints Jeffrey Zients to fix health website | Health in the United States

The ailing Healthcare.gov website will be fixed by the end of November, the Obama administration said on Friday as the US government appointed a new contractor to lead the program.

Jeffrey Zients, the person President Obama has appointed to solve the problems, has vowed to “focus relentlessly on speed and execution,” nearly a month after the botched launch of health care, which has prevented people to sign up for Obama’s historic program.

Administration officials announced on Friday that one of the website’s contractors – QSSI – will now lead the initiative to repair the Healthcare.gov site. The managers of the Medicare and Medicaid service centers had previously played the lead role.

“By the end of November, Healthcare.gov will be running smoothly for the vast majority of users,” Zients said Friday. “The Healthcare.gov site is repairable. It will take a lot of work and there are a lot of issues that need to be resolved. “

Zients, who has been the president’s go-to problem-solving man, said the government and private sector team providing the “tech push” had completed a flaw assessment of the website.

Zients said the sheer volume of apps on the site caused initial problems. The site received 14.6 million visitors in its first days of operation. But Zients added that issues at the site had exacerbated the situation, leading to frozen pages and error messages.

“These are bugs that prevent software from working as it is supposed to,” he said. “There is a list of fixes, and we’re going to eliminate them one by one.”

Andrew Slavitt, executive vice president of QSSI, told Congress this week that the software “has now kept pace with demand” and had “near zero error rates” since October 8.

Healthcare.gov covers people in all 36 states who have refused to run their own health insurance scholarships. About 700,000 requests were made across the country, and half of them arrived through the website. The White House aims to have 7 million uninsured Americans covered by the program by the end of March.

Senate Democrats have written Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to request an extension of the open registration period for the Health Care Act while the site’s issues are resolved.

“In view of the existing issues with Healthcare.gov and other state-run marketplace websites that depend on the federally-administered website, we urge you to consider extending the open listing beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014, “the Senators wrote.

“Extending this period will give consumers critical time to familiarize themselves with the website and choose the plan that is best for them. Individuals should not be penalized for lack of coverage if they cannot purchase health insurance due to technical issues. “

Zients’ announcement follows an acrimonious hearing Thursday in which Republicans accused the government of being aware of major issues at the site ahead of the launch and contractors said they warned the government of the issues.


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Official who made the big health website decision a frequent visitor to the White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The government official identified as responsible for a last-minute decision that helped block the Obamacare health insurance website has been in the White House frequently, according to visitor logs.

A man looks at the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) registration page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York City in this photo illustration from October 2, 2013. REUTERS / Mike Segar

Henry Chao, deputy director of information at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was named Thursday in congressional testimony as the one that ordered the prime contractor to register consumers before seeking price information , a step avoided by popular online shopping sites like Amazon.com.

As a result of this decision made just two weeks before the website went public on October 1, Healthcare.gov was overwhelmed with so many people trying to sign up at the same time the site crashed, Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of prime contractor CGI Federal, told U.S. lawmakers wanting to know why the site was in so much trouble.

“I believe it was Henry Chao and his team members,” Campbell told the House of Representatives’ energy and trade committee.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is the lead agency for the health care program.

Republican Obamacare opponents reviewing the website’s problems have attempted to find out why the change was made and whether the White House was involved in it, theorizing that the administration was trying to put up a barrier that would prevent consumers from finding out. the actual costs of the premiums they would pay.

However, they provided no evidence to support this claim and the administration denied such a ground. A CMS spokeswoman said on Friday the agency was trying to “prioritize the ability for us to launch live so consumers can conduct the full online application process.”

She didn’t want to say if Chao had made the decision that Campbell said caused problems.

White House visitor records show that Chao visited the White House 36 times between November 2011 and May 2013, with a visit in December 2009, to see President Barack Obama’s advisers, including officials. health care and technology.

The records, which were voluntarily disclosed by the White House, provide information on visits up to August 2013. No records were yet available for the month leading up to the launch, so it was not possible to determine whether Chao visited the White House during this period. .

Chao, asked for comment, referred Reuters to CMS. Neither the White House nor others at CMS immediately responded to requests for comment on Chao’s role.

From May 2012, Chao began to visit often, spending time in the White House or the old executive office building, where many administrative offices are based, several times a month. He visited at least once a month between May 2012 and May 2013.

Although he met a range of officials, he most often saw White House health official Jeanne Lambrew.

Two of Chao’s visits with Lambrew followed his comments at a conference on March 14, 2013, when he said he was “quite nervous” about the deployment of the law’s online system.

“Let’s just make sure it’s not a third world experience,” CQ said at the time. He then visited the White House on March 19 and 26.

Chao also met with White House CTO Todd Park on two separate occasions – in April 2012 and January 2013 – and then CIO Steven VanRoekel in February 2012.

Chao was a point of contact for contractor CGI Federal as he worked to build the technology backbone of the Healthcare.gov website. CGI Federal is a unit of CGI Group Inc., based in Canada.

Some Republicans, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, say they believe the White House was trying to hide the “sticker shock” of online insurance premiums in order to entice people to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare.

But when asked if Chao and other CMS members gave reasons for not putting the ‘browser’ option online on the website and whether the decision was political, Campbell told lawmakers: “I cannot answer if it was political or otherwise. “

She also said she was not aware of any political interference by the White House herself in her work on Heatlhcare.gov.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell and David Morgan; Editing by Fred Barbash and Ken Wills


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