Protect the privacy of your patients and the reputation of your facility.
Training that’s smarter, more effective, and cost efficient.
Automate the COI disclosure and management process.
In today’s NFL not much is private. On any given Sunday, viewers are inundated with information about players’ personal and professional lives. One of the few stones left unturned when it comes to privacy are players’ medical records. For all their fame and fortune, when it comes to HIPAA, they are covered just like the rest of us. So when a report recently surfaced that a laptop containing medical records of thousands of players had been stolen from a Washington Redskins staff member, two relatively unrelated industries, healthcare and sports, made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Last month we looked at the growing problem of ransomware and the potentially devastating impact it can have on systems, patient information and the entire operations of your facility. Ransomware is just one of many security issues that every facility needs to be concerned with and take steps to prevent. The list of security concerns includes physical security, social engineering, phishing, social media, mobile devices, access to patient records, malicious software and more.
Imagine you come into work one morning and the entire computer network is shut down and all files are inaccessible! That’s what happened to a friend of mine who owns a business in New Jersey. On their network were two letters from hackers that had hacked into their computer system overnight – one that contained a link where they could get their ENCRYPTED files and network back and another that told them how to get the special software key needed to decrypt those files.
Like Chipotle, your organization may have a social media policy that bars employees from making “disparaging, false” statements about the company. Chipotle’s intended policy to protect their public image from unflattering social media posts by their employees.
Each year there are new and expanded healthcare regulations that must be understood, addressed and communicated to staff. The pace of regulations and responsibilities continues to accelerate. Recent examples include patient engagement, ICD-10, readmissions reduction, Healthcare Associated Infections, physician arrangements, and on and on and on. These are the shiny, new puppies that grab our attention. Because they are (relatively) new, we devote a lot of attention to these issues as there is a need to develop plans of action for each new area. At the same time, you need to remain vigilant on older regulations.
A new proposed rule (42 C.F.R. Part 483, Subpart B) from CMS is highlighting the Federal government’s increased scrutiny on post-acute facilities and includes new training requirements. This new rule details stringent compliance requirements that long term care facilities must follow in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
If you thought that the Federal government’s spotlight that has shined on healthcare compliance programs over the last almost two decades would abate anytime soon, you need to take a closer look at recent activity. Rulings, guidance and advisories from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) show that the pace of new regulations and the scrutiny on compliance programs continues to increase. All of this new activity requires diligence from compliance, regulatory and accreditation officers to reduce risk, protect the organization and keep senior leadership in compliance and out of trouble.
In the next few years organizations will begin to tap into the enormous amount of real-time and historical data available and use that information to make decisions about and improve their business. These same concepts apply to healthcare training.
Demonstrated Competency is a learning feature that provides significant benefits for learners and learning administrators. What is the biggest complaint from learners? “Training takes too much time!”
The Office of Inspector General has released a new document for health care Governing Boards that provides guidance for proper compliance oversight. The document reiterates the Board’s responsibility to oversee and review an organization’s compliance program. It helps Boards understand that oversight is a serious responsibility designed to undercover potential risks and compliance issues.
Over the last few months, the country was gripped by the story of a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and spread to cities around the country. This outbreak was part of an upward trend. The CDC reported more than 600 cases of measles in 2014, and as of the end of February, 170 cases had been reported in just the first two months of 2015. Before 2014, the number of measles cases had exceeded 200 in only one year since 2001. Many in the medical community have pointed to the increase in the number of unvaccinated children as the main reason for this sudden increase in cases.
Now questions are being raised turning these concerns about conflicts of interest on their head. Some physicians are asking if incentive programs designed to improve quality and cost effectiveness, by promising increased revenue through “gainsharing” to physicians for attaining specific results, are creating conflicts of their own.
Studies show that real-life training scenarios have an emotional impact on staff which leads to increased retention and behavior change. At HCCS we’ve always included real-life video scenarios in our online compliance training courses.
In January of 2012, I wrote an article titled “5 Reasons Your CFO Should Approve Your Training Budget In 2012”. It’s remarkable how little has changed. Those of you involved with regulatory compliance know that government regulations rarely terminate or remain stagnant. Quite the opposite. Most regulations expand over time and the requirements increase over time.
If you were to suggest the use of a game or gaming elements to provide training to staff, you would probably receive a wide variety of reactions. Some would be thrilled as video games are an integral part of their lives. Others would roll their eyes and feel that you are insulting their intelligence.
Patient safety has always been of primary importance for the delivery of care for any healthcare provider. Despite the focus on patient well-being, landmark studies have identified lapses in various patient safety procedures across the industry. In an attempt to correct these lapses, CMS created several programs that provide a financial incentive for patient safety in healthcare facilities. Programs from CMS either reduce payments to facilities that don’t meet certain thresholds for patient safety or present measurement information to the public to help the public make informed decisions.
In August 2014, an important summit of 50 nurse leaders was held in Baltimore to discuss nursing ethics for the 21st century. The summit was sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.
Time will tell whether increased transparency will change dubious behavior, as designers of the database hope. What has become clear in the short term, however, is that the database is providing an excellent source of information for data mining by government investigators and reporters seeking evidence of connections between payments from industry and questionable actions by providers. It is the publicizing of these connections that will help to raise awareness and increase public pressure for the aforementioned changes in behavior.
The data included remuneration and other exchanges of value from August to December, 2013 from pharmaceutical and medical device companies to physicians, medical schools and other providers. Those with the wherewithal to download and analyze the 150+ megabytes of data posted in seven distinct database files began to provide some analysis within a few days.
In recent weeks, the NFL has been besieged by a number of high profile incidents of players involved in domestic abuse, child abuse and other violent behavior. The chief executives and team leaders of the NFL have come under intense criticism for reacting slowly to the evidence and accusations and for imposing weak and inadequate punishments. The criticism intensified further when the NFL changed its rulings on some issues multiple times and appeared to have no clear roadmap of how to deal with player conduct. Communications from the NFL leadership gave the appearance that they had no understanding of the severity of the issues and that they were completely out of sync with the strong feelings of their fan base and the public on these issues.