The American healthcare industry has grown to over $3.24 trillion dollars in 2016. For this reason, the healthcare industry remains one of the most highly regulated industries, subjected to a myriad of state and federal regulations. Yet healthcare compliance is about more than just complying with laws governing labor, medical privacy, and medical reimbursements. Healthcare compliance is really about enhancing health systems’ ability to provide exceptional patient care.
How Patient Care Improves with Healthcare Compliance
Across the nation, health systems have grown larger, often resulting in decentralized operations such as hiring, accounting, and information technology. This has caused potentially worrisome healthcare compliance concerns for health systems seeking to adhere to state and federal regulations without a clear picture if they’re able to. Consider how enhancing healthcare compliance in the following areas can significantly impact patient care:
- Contingent worker credentialing. Over the past few years, many health systems have turned to contingent workers to fill positions during the healthcare skills gap. Many health systems have left this up to departments to work with staffing suppliers on their own in order to get someone on site quickly. But what if that contingent worker isn’t properly credentialed and licensed in that state or country? Could they be doing damage to a patient? What if they don’t have the necessary vaccines to be on site? Will patients with compromised immune systems become ill? Absent the necessary third party oversight to ensure all contingent workers are properly credentialed, this necessary piece of healthcare compliance could cause serious complications to patient care.
- Total talent management. In a busy hospital or outpatient center, thousands of people could be onsite at any given moment. Should they all be interacting with patients? What if an SOW worker has been hired that was previously a danger to patients? How do health systems track those workers who are ineligible for rehire? Many health systems rely upon vendors and suppliers to do their due diligence to ensure their workers are not a danger to patients, but in their speed to get somebody on site, items can be missed. When healthcare compliance is not standardized and properly overseen by a third party, the wrong people could wind up on site. Total talent management can address this critical element of healthcare compliance, ensuring patient safety.
- Worker misclassification. When hiring is decentralized, departments have often been guilty of inadvertently misclassifying 1099 workers. In recent years, the U.S. Department of Labor have partnered with the IRS to crack down on these worker misclassifications, imposing heavy fines, penalties and audits. Health systems already struggling to reduce ballooning budgets may take a large enough hit to shut locations down, suspend important patient care initiatives and postpone cutting edge technology because of a misstep in this critical area of healthcare compliance. It can be hard to imagine that labor regulations would have such an impact on patient care, but when fines can potentially range in the millions of dollars, this becomes a critical piece of healthcare compliance.
- EHR adoption. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently ruled that health systems have until January, 2018 to fully meet EHR system requirements. The so called “meaningful use” rule is an important part of healthcare compliance, ensuring patient records and care is documented electronically. However, many health systems are still struggling to implement this healthcare compliance priority. Without the necessary support for implementation and EHR training in place, patient care could be compromised due to human error.
Many health systems struggle with healthcare compliance. With so many rules and regulations governing this industry, it can be a veritable minefield of risk. This is why many health systems turn to the experts- hiring a healthcare- focused managed service provider (MSP.) MSP’s take healthcare compliance to heart, ensuring the health system can focus on what they do best- helping patients. Contact RightSourcing today for a free workforce analysis and find out how an MSP can enhance both healthcare compliance and patient care.