Today, compliance is more important than ever before. Businesses who are found to be out of compliance by their specific regulating agency can face a host of consequences. These include fines, greater oversight or even the shuttering of their business completely. Nearly every business must contend with being compliant within the parameters of those regulations set by their particular industry. Nowhere is this more true than the medical field.
HIPAA Compliance Matters
In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that most people know better simply as HIPAA. Since that time, measures have been put into place at both the federal and state level that mandate the type of information that medical providers can obtain from their patients and how that information can be used.
When coupled with healthcare reform, HIPAA is a fluid entity that involves updates and changes that can be a challenge for today’s medical providers to stay abreast of. Meaningful Use consulting provides expert skills, focused tools and personalized recommendations that are designed to address the specific issues that you face.
Advantages of Using Consultants
As medical providers continue to face increasingly complex regulations as the result of healthcare reform, ensuring that your practice is HIPAA compliant can become more difficult. The following are some of the most common reasons that medical providers turn to consultants and other experts.
- *Your office staff is already overworked: Office staff often already must contend with complicated insurance coding. They also must try to schedule patients in order to effectively maximize healthcare providers’ time. Most office staff simply lack the skills needed to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations like HIPAA.
- *Your human resource department lacks knowledge: The type of knowledge – as well as the time commitment required to staying current – can be considerable. In many cases, your human resource staff is going to require a great deal of time and energy to get up to speed on the latest regulations, if you added compliance procedures.
- *You simply lack staff: If you are like many medical offices, you keep a small staff that has very specific duties that are imperative to your daily operations. There are simply not enough hours in the day to add another responsibility to their list of duties.
- *Hiring a dedicated person doesn’t make sense: Compliance issues tend to come up on an as-needed basis. That is, if you hire a person who is dedicated exclusively to these issues, they are typically not going to be kept busy enough to warrant adding to the payroll.
- *Your budget for staff is limited: In fact, putting someone on your payroll who is working exclusively on ensuring that your medical practice is compliant is likely to cost you a great deal of money. Not only will you need to pay their salary, you’ll also need to fork over money for benefits and insurance as well.
Hiring consultants means that you have a professionally-trained and objective expert that is dedicated to ensuring that your business is compliant. This provides you with the peace of mind that your practice is following all of the required mandates. You can then concentrate on providing outstanding care to your patients.