Top 5 Healthcare Compliance Issues To Watch In 2016
Healthcare compliance is an ever-changing drama of reality show proportions, and staying current with changes leaves some feeling overwhelmed. As healthcare organizations struggle to remain compliant with the trends, rules, laws, and government regulations, we’ve compiled our top 5 healthcare compliance issues to watch for in 2016, with suggestions for how you can keep up without losing your mind.
- Meaningful use final rule by CMS now gives you until January 2018 to fully meet EHR system requirements. While the final rule has revised more than half of EHR compliance requirements, hospitals and physicians nationwide still struggle to fully integrate digital records in a way that is user-friendly and fully compliant. Since revisions to Stage 2 requirements include measurement of patients’ use of EHR, implementing a patient education program will also help you stay in compliance.
- HIPAA compliance audits to resume in 2016 looking specifically at data security measures. According to McGraw, new Deputy Director for Information Privacy at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, this year’s audits will target both data breaches as well as consumer complaints. As your organization moves to incorporate mobile devices into patient interaction models and connected medical devices, be certain that your security and risk management policies are robust and remain in compliance.
- Changes to Stark law exceptions are intended to reduce “unnecessary compliance burdens” while helping physicians deliver efficient services. While many applaud these changes and hope more are on the horizon, it is not yet clear if the new exceptions will be applied retroactively.
- ICD-10 revisions. Expect quiet changes to the new ICD-10 that may impact your bottom line. From updates that address simple errors in code descriptions to tightening requirements designed to combat over-utilization of unspecified codes, the updates will continue to take place without any fanfare. As ICD-10 is fully integrated across all healthcare delivery in the US and compliance targets tightened, watch this space for updates.
- Medicare reform, MACRA, MIPS, and APMs. Medicare changes designed to streamline payment systems, reporting, and compliance for healthcare delivery are set to begin phase-in during 2016, although not expected to be fully implemented until 2019. While not everyone applauds the proposed changes, they are intended to focus on paying healthcare providers based on measurable performance outcomes and facilitate compliance and are certainly a step in the right direction.
In the ever-changing landscape of healthcare compliance, staying up to date can be daunting. Our healthcare compliance training can simplify the educational process and keep you abreast of this dynamic field. Contact us today to explore how we can help.
Published by Matt Plass and Dan Brown