We don’t have to tell you that over the past few years, the healthcare industry has witnessed its fair share of increasing state and federal regulations. As these regulations and the expectations of hospital staff grow, it’s important that organizations take steps to improve compliance in all areas, including healthcare contract management. An obvious step when you consider the mishandling of a contract can cost you much more than just dollars and cents, it could damage your organization’s reputation as well as lead to privacy breaches, business errors and regulatory penalties.
From HIPAA, HITECH, Stark I, II, III, False Claims, Federal Anti-Kickback Statute to The Joint Commission (JACHO), there are a ton of regulations your organization is subject to, and a place for contract management to help ensure compliance. Here’s how
When it comes to healthcare regulations, privacy is kind of a big deal. Health information must be stringently protected. As such, facilities that outsource work must ensure that all vendors are also in compliance on physical, technical and administrative levels. A breach of any kind can lead to civil, criminal and monetary consequences issued by HIPAA.
What does this have to do with contract management? Well, of these regulations it’s important that you’re able to manage your vendors quickly and with ease. Lack of process can create an insurmountable paperwork management problem. Choosing to manage your contracts on a Cloud-based platform can provide a hassle-free approach to sharing contracts and viewing those of your vendors, partners, and associates.
Stark I, II, III, False Claims and Federal Anti-Kickback Statute
These regulations surround a facility’s business practices, from an organizational standpoint or a standalone physician. These regulations prohibit any conflicts of interest either parties might have that would allow them to profit.
Contracts management can help in these cases by identifying conflicts and ensure that they are made aware of the policies against such behaviors.
False Claims Act
This act imposes liability on anyone who submits a claim to the federal government that he/she knows to be false to receive payment of any kind.
Contract management can assist in finding oversights and tracking contractual information to ensure compliance and accuracy.
The Joint Commission (JACHO)
JACHO accredits and certifies healthcare organization who are committed to meeting certain performance standards. Where contract management comes into play is by providing JACHO with the contractual information they need to ensure healthcare organizations are doing as they should meet the criteria set forth. By providing this information JACHO can review the organization’s contractual obligation and deem them to be in compliance with government regulations.
Often times we look at contracts simply as agreements between two businesses or between an organization and an individual instead of a tool used to meet compliance standards. With healthcare regulations getting more and more complex, it’s important that we use every tool in our belt to make it easier to do what’s necessary. Leaving no stone unturned is how you’ll find that contracts are just a stack of papers, they’re the key to success.