Regulatory Compliance – How Does it Affect Your Practice?
Within the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry, new rules and regulations to protect patients interest, and to make the industry more efficient have been being developed at a record pace. A flood of new regulations got introduced in recent years in light of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a very harsh penalties for those that are not compliant. Now, more than ever before it is crucial stay up-to-date with the changes.
In the United States, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) was enacted in 1996-and Protected Health Information (PHI) to protect the interests of patients. Following the ACA, and with recent developments in electronic health record (EHR), HIPAA had to bring many new, unforeseen, rules to cope with the situation. HIPAA had to pave the way to digitalize all most every single manner of health care records and processes. This brought on many stringent, yet unexpected implications. Any violation, intentionally or unintentionally, meets with a variety of penalties which get categorized in 4 criteria where “Category-1” is least serious and “Category-4” is most serious. Thus, staying relevant with the ever-evolving regulatory minefield is more important than ever.
Healthcare Compliance Fines
In 2015, many Healthcare companies had to pay huge amounts of fines and penalties for reasons ranging from unintentional mistakes to sheer negligence. If we track back the record, we will find examples like Tuomey Healthcare System in South Carolina paying $237.5 million in fines and penalties, Adventist Health System and its affiliated White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles agreed to a settlement of $14.1 million, and Cooper Health System and Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey agreed to a settlement of $12.6 million. Many companies were fined simply because they could not protect patient medical data from hacking.
Now, questions arise, are you up-to-date with new rules and regulations? If the answer is “No”; then, you can expect a hefty amount of fines incurred on your practice for violating a rule that you may not have even heard of. Did you know that all the information regarding patients should be kept in a secure server as an example? If any information can be accessed by any unauthorized personnel this will result in serious fines like “New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University” had to face in 2014. That hospital paid a 4.8 million dollar in fine to compensate for the deactivation of a network server which resulted in the disclosure of protected health information of more than 6,800 individuals.
How A Consultant Can Help
Now, what does a healthcare consultant do? What does he/she do to save you from costly penalties? First and foremost, a healthcare consultant identifies the problem in the company he/she is working for. Then that consultant does some preliminary research and examines the data available to them at that moment to find a solution. During that process, that consultant considers new rules and regulations. By analyzing that information, a healthcare consultant can find the flaws and correct those.
How can a consultant help avoid costly penalties? Well, a consultant specialized on Healthcare regulations has an extensive experience in this field. Here at iHealthOne we have over thirty such consultants ready to help with a variety of issues surrounding healthcare compliance and regulatory compliance. Leveraging our wide array of clients that have faced similar issues you can get much more done with our team than the hundreds of hours you or your office staff will spend just doing the research. Consultants also have various analytical tools at their disposal to analyze the ensuing new rules and regulations to reach the best possible conclusion. Our consultants also stay up-to-date with the changes made by HIPAA and other regulatory organizations.
Healthcare Compliance & Your Future.
Healthcare Industries in United States alone have more than $3 Trillion dollars in traction per year, according to Forbes. However, the very same magazine Forbes termed the recent Industry regulatory changes as draconian, and summarized its analysis by describing the industry as an industry which is focused on compliance and regulation rather than patient care. Now, staying penalty free is no longer a matter of economic well-being, rather a way to stay afloat and competitive in an ever-shifting market place. Hiring a Healthcare consultant will benefit a practice in many ways in such a turbulent market climate.
If you need help with compliance issues for you’re medical practice iHealthOne can help. Give us a call today for your first consultation at no cost to you.