Next to hands-on patient care, no part of healthcare carries as much importance as protecting a patient’s personal information from a breach of privacy, charging honestly for the care provided, and auditing the compliance of a practice or facility.
All medical organizations face healthcare compliance worries. Healthcare compliance is a general term describing the observance of conventions, guidelines, and state and federal laws. Practices, clinics, and facilities normally have a staff members dedicated to fulfilling regulations that protect patients and staff, assure privacy of personal information, and that medical information is presented using standardized means.
Since 2003, when the Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was implemented, a new role of Compliance Officer has evolved. Compliance Officers assure compliance with all facets of HIPAA rules, developing and maintaining compliance plans, training staff and providers, and correcting any irregularities.
HIPAA requires providers and facilities to maintain compliance plans requiring monitoring and training. Often, there is a designated compliance officer who must develop, track, and report on these plans, which may include regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and others.