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Why Healthcare Compliance Training Is More Important Than Ever



June 25, 2021



Why Healthcare Compliance Training Is More Important Than Ever

Why is compliance training so important? It is important because compliance training empowers management to make informed decisions about how to maintain compliance with the myriad of laws and regulations placed on the healthcare industry.

What Is Healthcare Compliance?

What exactly is healthcare compliance? According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, healthcare companies are required to establish internal policies and procedures that detail how they will treat patients who need their services. Healthcare organizations and medical providers are then required to use those practices to provide quality health care and protect the privacy of patients. These policies and procedures also spell out when providers must report patient healthcare information to government agencies.

Healthcare compliance is the ongoing effort that a medical organization or provider uses to follow strict ethical, legal, and professional guidelines in order to meet both established and new legal requirements. Healthcare institutions and providers must have effective systems, processes, and policies in place, everything from diagnosis to billing to compliance with HIPAA regulations. Failure to comply can result in fines or more serious consequences.

There are three major areas of healthcare compliance that organizations must deal with. They are risk assessment, proper documentation, and system security. These three topics require the attention of the organizations and providers. They directly impact patient care and the financial stability of the institutions. Organizations and providers must develop an infrastructure to support these activities and continuously monitor them to make sure that everything is in line. HIPAA has attempted to solve some of the problems involved by introducing regulations for providers, but more rules are expected in the near future.

The regulatory body that oversees HIPAA compliance is called the HIPAA Accounting Principles. This is an intergovernmental agency formed by the National Institute of Health. All healthcare organizations and providers must follow these principles or face stiff penalties. The current version of the Security Rule involves organizations that use personal information to apply for federal health programs. This rule was put in place after the September 11th terrorist attacks and is still in effect as organizations have to update their privacy policies on a regular basis.

A number of government agencies manage the regulations applicable to healthcare compliance. These include CMS, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Each year, organizations are reviewed and modified if necessary to stay in compliance with the regulations. In addition to this, HCAHPS, or Health Care Information Privacy Practices Act, is an important tool that encourages organizations to implement privacy policies. It requires hospitals and other health care facilities to inform patients and provide privacy statements when it comes to their health.

All healthcare organizations and providers must continually evaluate their own practices to see how they are complying with the standards and whether they are properly reporting data to the government. Providers may be fined if they are found to be in violation of patient care guidelines or the Security Rule. There are a number of audits that examine various aspects of the organizations and their compliance procedures. These audits are a vital part of the HIPAA training that all individuals receive upon entering the healthcare field.

Government regulators monitor healthcare providers to ensure they are following the regulations and are within the scope of their business as it applies to patient privacy and confidentiality. This includes from drug allergies to sexually transmitted diseases. Government regulations also address how healthcare providers handle confidential financial information. Audits are regularly conducted by governing bodies to ensure that they are operating within the law.

HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was enacted by the U.S congress in 1996. This was the first major revision of medical privacy laws in over 20 years. The primary purpose of this Act is to establish minimum standards of privacy protection for private health information held by healthcare providers.

Employers may be held liable for actions that cause a covered entity to violate HIPAA standards. The most common penalties include fines and monetary refunds. If an employer fails to provide proper training to their employees about HIPAA privacy laws, they could be held personally liable for any negligence that causes a covered entity to violate those laws. An employer who is responsible for providing reasonable period of training to their employees on HIPAA compliance could be held personally liable for acts of negligence that result in the negligent dissemination of protected health information.

What is OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration were established in 1953 as a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Its main function is to protect the workers from unsafe working conditions. As of today, it has three regional offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration first had federal visitatorial powers to examine and inspect businesses in the private sector. However, it was established as an independent board and now has full competency to inspect all employers of work in the private sector. It has been able to build up a reputation and expertise as the employer liaison for OSHA enforcement inspections. It has also been effective in building relations with its employer, ensuring that employers continue to cooperate with the organization.

Employers who want to know what OSHA is doing should keep track of OSHA inspection records. This will give them an idea of how the employer complies with the regulations. If the employer does not comply, then the business may be fined. And in case of injury or illness at the workplace, the injured person or family can pursue legal action against the employer. Therefore, if a company wants to ensure compliance with all federal and state laws on healthful working conditions, then the employer should get in touch with an experienced occupational safety and health specialist.

In many states, the government works with private employers to ensure compliance with state occupational safety and health laws. For instance, there are OSHA rules governing the use of ergonomics in the workplace, controlling temperature and air quality. There are rules about smoking, water safety and proper posture of employees. For this reason, many employers hire an agency to train their employees on these things.

Another way employers can learn about the OSHA rules is to ask around. Employees and former employees are the best sources of information. They will tell you what has been regulated and what has not. They may even tell you about hazards you might have not known about before. They can explain why certain actions are required or why other ones are not.

A third good source of information is the book, “What Is OSHA – The Nation’s Guide to Safety Standards.” This is published by the Federal Safety Administration, and every year it has a full list of OSHA regulations and what they do. The book can be picked up from any major bookstore, and its contents can even be downloaded electronically.

There are several federal agencies that regulate OSHA and all the businesses that use them as their employees. A few of these are OSHA itself, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Occupational Safety, and Health Administration, the Federal Railroad Workers Safety and Health Association, and even the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. All these bodies of government and private interest want workers to be safe and healthy. OSHA can remind employers about all the safety laws that apply to them and their employees. They provide seminars and classes to help workers understand the new laws.

OSHA standards not only ensure that employees are safe, but they also protect against the large expenses of litigation that results from employee negligence and work-related injuries. When an employee is injured on the job, there is usually a hefty monetary settlement that needs to be paid. However, not many workers and employers know that there are easy ways to avoid having to pay so much money. If an employee can show that there was negligence on the part of the employer or supervisor and the injury resulted from this negligence, the employee may be able to get most, if not all, of their money back.

What is Compliance Training?

Competency-based compliance training is designed to improve compliance in your organization. This approach helps healthcare businesses establish a “gold standard” of competency, ensuring that employees are following the rules and laws put in place to protect patient data. Compliance training helps ensure that your employees are compliant with the many regulations that were put in place for PHI (PHI stands for Protected Health Information). The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes. To make sure your employees remain compliant, you must invest in training.

Why is Compliance Training Important?

Compliance training can help healthcare organizations mitigate legal risk. Many compliance risks are due to human error, so training is an important way for management to make the right decisions to safeguard their organization. With the staggering number of rules and regulations placed on organizations, it is important to understand the basics of compliance and to have an understanding of how to apply those rules. The steps in compliance training are designed to help managers achieve that understanding. Compliance training will enable management to make more informed decisions about how to effectively meet federal and state laws and regulations.

Why do we need Compliance Training?

Compliance training should be part of any business. As a matter of fact, state and federal regulations require such training to be provided to all companies that provide healthcare. It is an increasingly necessary part of any business; any compliance training needs to be comprehensive, and it needs to be regular to be effective. Why is compliance training so important? It is important because compliance training empowers management to make informed decisions about how to maintain compliance with the laws and regulations placed on the healthcare industry. In healthcare, the threat of fines can leave a company with no choice but to comply.

Who should take compliance training?

There is a saying in the healthcare industry that states, “You’re not a compliance officer until you know your business’ compliance laws.” I have found that most healthcare organizations are prepared to answer compliance questions because the bulk of the organization’s compliance-related expertise is in an easy to access online portal, as it is with Healthcare Waste Management’s compliance program. Because we know compliance officers typically deal with several regulatory and legal documents, the knowledge required to answer compliance questions is best offered in an online portal where training and reference materials can be found.

Healthcare Compliance

For healthcare professionals, compliance training is a vital part of their career. In fact, it can be argued that compliance training is the difference between success and failure. Training staff on legal and ethical requirements is an essential part of a medical practice. Here we will explore what compliance training is, why it is important for all healthcare professionals, and how to create an effective training program.

The Basics of Healthcare Compliance

So, what does compliance training involve? Well, the practical purpose of a compliance training session is to improve the ability of your staff to comply with your organization’s legal and ethical requirements. To an extent, this can be simplified down to compliance with good practices.

How to Create an Effective Compliance Training Program

Develop your training program according to the requirements of the organization. Every healthcare facility has unique requirements. Different departments will require different compliance trainings. As a medical professional, you need to understand how your facility’s requirements, so you can develop the best training program for your staff. Establish clear objectives for training staff and use multiple tools and methods to achieve those objectives. Prepare your staff to follow the training requirements.

What are the benefits of compliance training?

First, compliance training is a great tool for measuring the effectiveness of your compliance program. The first thing your compliance manager can do is sit down with every compliance manager on the team and evaluate their compliance needs and levels. Secondly, it is a great way to engage employees in learning and development (or exercise). Your compliance managers are going to instruct how to access these important subjects online, and they can be accessed from anywhere there is an internet connection, home, office, etc. Since the employees can be given a lesson at any workstation, there is a greater chance that your employees will take and retain the information.

Conclusion

By putting in place strong and thorough compliance training programs for all staff, hospitals and healthcare facilities will ensure that proper precautions are in place, to ensure proper training is in place and has been taken. Healthcare facilities compliance managers can easily see who needs what training by simply logging into the on-line compliance portal. Contact Healthcare Waste Management today for all your compliance needs.

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