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Report: Target says breach at vendor led to data theft

BY Dan Berthiaume

MINNEAPOLIS — Target reportedly said a data breach at an unidentified vendor led to hackers obtaining phony credentials that allowed them to gain access to Target’s systems and steal the information for 40 million credit and debit cards, as well as the personal data of about 70 million consumers. According to the Associated Press, Target did not offer any specific details on who the vendor was or how hackers obtained the credentials.

A Target spokesperson did say the retailer has taken steps to help make data breaches more difficult in the future, such as restricting or updating outside access to some of its platforms.

 

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Walgreens discusses digital transformation at recent I Heart APIs conference

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Apigee recently hosted Tim McCauley, Walgreens’ senior director of mobile commerce, and Joe Rago, a senior product manager at Walgreens, to discuss Walgreens’ digital transformation and API strategy during the organization’s I Heart APIs conference.

Apigee made the video of the presentation available in a blog on Wednesday. 

"McCauley details how so many efforts underway in Walgreens’ brick-and-mortar stores, including opening up store layouts, focusing on pharmacy, photo and ‘round-the-clock’ service, and going to where their customers are, parallel the work the company has done with its APIs," wrote Apigee blogger Olaf de Senerpont Domis. "Rago, who leads Walgreens’ API efforts, discusses the two flagship open API programs — the QuickPrints and scan-to-refill prescription APIs—and emphasizes the importance of communicating their features and capabilities to third-party developers." 

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WAG expands Inovalon partnership to bring data analytics to Healthcare Clinics

BY Antoinette Alexander

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens announced on Thursday that it is expanding its relationship with technology company Inovalon to implement its patient assessment tool and technology platform to support improvements in care, quality and risk score accuracy programs across more than 400 Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens locations.

The convergence of Inovalon’s data-driven patient assessment tool, Electronic Patient Assessment Solution Suite, dubbed ePASS and Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens creates a unique offering within the health plan and retail clinic industry, the company stated. With the implementation, Inovalon’s analysis of more than 8.3 billion medical events brings analytic insights to Healthcare Clinic programs.

“By integrating data analytics, we can gain even deeper insights to help improve patient care and, ultimately, outcomes,” Heather Helle, divisional VP for Healthcare Clinic, said.  “We continue to expand the scope of services, capabilities and footprint at Healthcare Clinics. These types of innovative solutions enable our nurse practitioners and physician assistants to play an increasingly important role as part of a patient’s care team.”

The combination of Inovalon’s analytics and Healthcare Clinic’s nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as its laboratory and immunization resources, provides an attractive solution to health plans, ACOs and integrated care delivery organizations seeking to achieve goals in improving quality outcomes and risk score accuracy, the company stated.

“Bringing advanced analytics to the point of care in real time is a powerful benefit for patients being seen in today’s highly complex healthcare environment,” added Keith Dunleavy, president and CEO of Inovalon. “We are proud to be working with Walgreens on this industry leading initiative, supporting its commitment to improve healthcare outcomes for Healthcare Clinic partners and patients nationwide.”

Inovalon’s ePASS system delivers a patient assessment tool with individualized predictive analytics to the point of care, supporting advanced insight and efficient resolution of gaps in quality, care, patient assessment, documentation and risk score accuracy. The risk score models of Medicare Advantage, Commercial Health Insurance Exchange and state managed Medicaid are each supported within the ePASS system. Similarly, the industry’s wide array of quality outcomes programs including HEDIS, CMS Stars, state Medicaid programs and commercial accreditation requirements of NCQA and URAC are supported within the platform provided at Healthcare Clinic.

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