If you work in the healthcare sector, you’ll know that new regulatory standards come into force all the time. With the sector constantly evolving, providers are spending over $38 billion per year on regulatory compliance issues – for some hospitals, the regulatory burden increases by a staggering $1,200 whenever they admit a new patient.
What does this mean for you, then?
All this regulatory change places greater pressure on companies operating in healthcare. For example, it’s estimated that, between now and 2026, there will be an almost 10% increase in the need for healthcare compliance officers.
Don’t worry, though.
It’s possible to stay ahead of regulatory changes and avoid unnecessary penalties. Below, we’ve compiled our top 7 tips for complying with healthcare regulations to make it easier for you to stay informed.
1. Join industry associations
When you have compliance questions, it’s great to have the support of a professional association. Professional associations tell their members when significant regulatory changes are headed their way so they have time to prepare. They often offer training advice, too, so you’re completely ready for the changes when they come into force.
2. Sign up for newsletters and bulletins
Regulatory agencies, legislators, and law firms all regularly send out helpful information via email newsletters. This information will, when relevant, include changes to compliance standards. It’s worth signing up to a few of these and reading the newsletters carefully when they arrive in your inbox.
3. Check online sources
The best sites to visit regularly are official ones such as the Office of Inspector General (OIG). These sites contain the most up-to-date healthcare compliance information available online, and it’s easy to check them regularly.
4. Assign a compliance officer
Your compliance officer is responsible for maintaining compliance with healthcare regulations. If you can’t appoint a full-time compliance officer, you can always appoint someone to check regularly for updates and training opportunities.
5. Attend external training
Whether you or your employees attend an all-day conference or an online seminar, external training ensures that you’re getting the most up-to-date compliance advice available. It also gives you a chance to ask questions and pick up tips on best practices. However you do it, make sure you fit external regulatory compliance training into your budget.
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6. Consult a professional
The best way to stay ahead of healthcare compliance changes is to consult the experts. You don’t need to take on all the compliance requirements in house. It’s possible to outsource some compliance-based tasks to external organizations who then take responsibility for ensuring they’re completing these tasks in line with current regulations.
7. Software solutions
It’s a good idea to invest in Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) software. This software centralizes your regulatory compliance information and makes it easier to communicate changes between teams. You can also use it to generate administrative tasks, such as reminders to schedule employee compliance training or reminders to check for legal developments.
Although healthcare compliance regulations are evolving all the time, it’s possible to stay ahead of the changes by adopting just a few simple strategies like the ones outlined above. Remember, a failure to follow healthcare compliance regulations can result in fines, penalties, reputation damage, and other serious consequences.
For more information on healthcare regulatory compliance standards, tech advancements, and how you can stay current on the laws affecting your business operations, contact us today.