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FCW : July 15, 2014
Trending of the federal workforce was red in 2013 0.46% 8 July 15, 2014 FCW.COM RAND says cyber- staff shortage a national security risk The shortage of cybersecurity experts in the federal government is serious to the point of being a national security threat, according to a RAND study. The shortage is mainly in high- end jobs with salaries of $200,000 to $250,000, according to Martin Libicki, the report s lead author. Demand for cybersecurity experts began to exceed supply in 2007 amid increased reports of large-scale hack- ing, credit-card breaches and cyber raids on intellectual property, the report states. "As cyberattacks have increased and there is increased awareness of vul- nerabilities, there is more demand for the professionals who can stop such attacks," said Libicki, a senior manage- ment scientist at RAND. "But educat- ing, recruiting, training and hiring these cybersecurity professionals take time." The report s recommendations include allowing federal agencies to waive civil service rules that prevent them from hiring cybersecurity experts and improving the methods for nding cybersecurity talent. --- Sean Lyngaas IBM taps Epic for Defense health IT bid The Defense Department is inching closer to a request for proposals for its planned $11 billion electronic health record system, and industry is getting ready to bid. IBM recently staffed up its federal health practice, launched health care analytics applications for its Watson supercomputer and is now teaming up with Epic to go after the DOD contract. The Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine and other top providers use Epic s interoperable EHR software. IBM hopes to act as overall integra- tor on the DOD Healthcare Manage- ment System Modernization contract. More such alignments between lead- ing IT contractors and EHR specialists are expected to be announced before the nal solicitation is issued sometime this summer. --- Adam Mazmanian Study shows savings from VA telehealth program Veterans who receive their care via the Veterans Health Administration s home-based telehealth programs are experiencing better outcomes with lower costs than vet- erans who are not enrolled, according to a new study by the Department of Veter- ans Affairs. Data from 2009 to 2012 show that annu- al costs for telehealth patients dropped about 4 percent after a year of using telehealth programs, compared with a one-year spike of 48 percent in costs for those who didn t use telehealth. It is the rst time the VA has been able to directly compare vet- erans accessing telehealth with those who receive all their care in person. Telehealth patients had higher phar- macy costs, but that was attributable to better compliance with prescriptions. In contrast, the telehealth population saw decreases in hospital admissions and emergency room visits. Dr. Adam Darkins, who leads VA s telehealth program, conducted the study. At the Health Information Man- agement Systems Society s Govern- ment Health IT conference in June, Darkins said telehealth services will increasingly migrate to new platforms. "What we ve done with home telehealth devices is platform- agnostic," he said. "People will be able to connect from their smartphone, computer tablet, laptop and, looking into the future, from their TV." --- Adam Mazmanian TANK What we've done with home telehealth devices is platform-agnostic. --- DR. ADAM DARKINS
June 15, 2014
July 30, 2014