Keeping Up with Healthcare Regulations

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I know that meaningful use and the EHR incentive regulatory process has been an eye opening experience for many of us that weren’t as familiar with how the government put regulations in place. However, most hospitals are quite familiar with this process since they have been having to deal with it for a very long time.

Even with all this background and expertise, I’ve heard more and more organizations telling me that “they just can’t keep up with all of the healthcare regulations.”

Think about all of the regulations in just healthcare IT. It’s overwhelming and the healthcare IT regulations pale in comparison to many of the other regulations that hospitals must know about and follow. Plus, we’re just getting started with the fun of 5010 and ICD-10 is right around the corner.

With all of these regulations I was intrigued by a new offering from HCPro I saw during the AHIMA convention in Chicago this year. While HCPro has long been a publisher of healthcare content, they have a new product they are just launching called HCPro Comply. I think the best way to describe HCPro is a portal into every healthcare regulation imaginable. Certainly you could find all these regulations in other locations for free, but there was something beautiful about having them all available in one easily searchable place.

Plus, HCPro Comply does a lot of things to add value to the regulations they make available. For example, they chunk out sections of the regulations that really matter. I remember my shock when I heard that the Meaningful Use regulation was 692 pages. Then, as I looked at the regulation, I realized that there were really only a small number of pages in the middle that really mattered since the beginning was a bunch of overview. From what I understand, HCPro uses its clinical regulation experts to help you identify and bring out those sections of the regulation that matter most.

The other part of HCPro Comply that I found quite interesting was their “Ask An Expert” feature. While many hospitals likely have someone (or multiple people) in their organization that understand regulatory changes very well, there are always situations where it’s beneficial to get outside advice and analysis about a particularly challenging regulatory change. I’m quite familiar with meaningful use, but I’m often emailing a number of other experts to either make sure my interpretation is correct or to ask about nuances I haven’t quite figured out.

One thing that I think HCPro Comply should consider adding is allowing the experts from the various hospitals share their expertise with their colleagues. I can easily see a community of healthcare regulatory compliance experts interacting on their platform to discuss the latest regulatory changes. I’m sure that HCPro has many experts on their staff, but a network of the top hospital compliance experts would be an even more powerful offering.

Now that Obama won the Presidential campaign, ACA, HITECH and other healthcare reform are here to stay. I can see portals like HCPro Comply being a great asset in the ever changing healthcare regulatory environment.