Three healthcare compliance/regulatory issues that undoubtedly keep healthcare managers up all night that were different or nonexistent 10 years ago are:
- Cybersecurity and Data Privacy – In recent years, healthcare organizations have become increasingly reliant on technology, which has resulted in the creation, storage, and transmission of vast amounts of patient data. In light of the growing frequency of data breach and cyber attack, healthcare organizations need to adhere to a number of regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Security Rule. This regulation mandates strict standards to protect patient data. They include encryption, controls on access, and procedures for breach notifications. The issue is so important that healthcare managers are unable to sleep at night. A data breach, or cyberattack can have a significant impact on the financial health and reputation of a company.
- Opioid Epidemic – Over the last decade, the United States has experienced an opioid epidemic, with millions of Americans becoming addicted to prescription opioids. The federal and states have responded to the crisis by passing laws and regulations, including the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment Act. The healthcare industry is now expected to create and implement procedures and policies regarding the prescription and dispensing of opioids as well monitoring patients to detect signs or addiction. This issue is a major concern for healthcare managers because failure to comply can lead to significant fines and liability.
- Telehealth Regulations – With the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth services has increased exponentially, and this trend is likely to continue. The rapid adoption of telehealth has prompted regulatory agencies to develop new guidelines and requirements for telehealth services, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Interim Final Rule and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Telemedicine Waiver. This issue causes healthcare managers to lose sleep because the telehealth rules are always changing. Organizations must be in compliance with all of the requirements and avoid legal liabilities and penalties.
Healthcare managers are unable to sleep because they fear the financial damage and loss of reputation that can result from non-compliance, not to mention the potential legal penalties and liability. These compliance/regulatory issues were either nonexistent or different ten years ago and have become increasingly complex with the changing healthcare landscape.