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Health Care Week in Review: 2017 Onsite HIPAA Audits, Kids' Headphones, U.S. Health Care Spending, U.S. Life Expectancy

Image: Keith Negley

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

• While the chances of getting audited are slim, according to the HHS Office for Civil Rights, hospitals should know what to expect if they're selected for an onsite audit in 2017. "We’re looking for evidence that you are implementing the [HIPAA] policies and procedures," says OCR senior advisor Linda Sanches. HIPAA-covered entities will be audited on their current policies and procedures that address privacy rule controls, breach notification rule controls and security rule controls. Read More

• Children's headphones are made to limit the volume at which sound can be played, providing a safe listening experience for delicate ears. However, a new study has shown that approximately 15 sets of children's headphones that were tested did not restrict volume as promised by the manufacturer. Some even produced hazardous sound levels. Read More

• U.S. health care spending has risen to $3.2 trillion in 2015, which equates to approximately $10k per person, according to the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and published by Health Affairs. The rising cost of private health insurance, hospital care, physician and clinical services, and prescription drugs are highlights of the many factors contributing to the unprecedented skyrocketing costs of health care in the U.S. Read More

• For the first time in a decade, the overall death rate has increased in the U.S., leading to a drop in overall life expectancy since 1993. The decline was driven by increases in deaths from eight of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S., which include heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, respiratory disease, kidney disease and diabetes. Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.