Healthcare leaders are thinking forward to 2023 and weighing the costs and benefits of making organization-wide changes. For those in healthcare, providing the best patient care is the ultimate goal. However, hospitals and clinics also operate as businesses, unless they are nonprofit entities, and must find ways to manage costs without sacrificing quality care. The best scenario is making an organization-wide change that reduces cost and improves patient care.
Outsourcing in general has become standard operating procedure for many businesses across all industries, but perhaps nowhere does it have more potential to have a positive impact than in healthcare. More healthcare leaders are using outsourcing as a way to address staff shortages, compliance requirements, increased workloads, patient satisfaction expectations, maintaining quality care levels and staff burnout.
When choosing what areas stand to gain the most benefit from outsourcing, release of information (ROI) ranks at the top. In fact, outsourcing to an ROI provider lets healthcare organization leaders meet their objectives to decrease costs while improving patient care and satisfaction, as well as address the challenges listed above.
When evaluating your ROI processes and options for 2023, include in your decision making three factors that are significantly influencing the healthcare industry.
- Regulatory changes focused on releasing medical records are a potentially expensive pitfall, especially considering the fines for non-compliance can be steep.
“Be prepared to see changes to the Privacy Rule this year. Already, our compliance team is performing education outreach regarding how the changes affect HIM ranging from ROI and notice of privacy practices to patients looking over providers’ shoulders at charts,” says Elizabeth McElhiney, ScanSTAT’s Director of Compliance and Government Affairs. “Interoperability will be another aspect to address when changes take effect. Not all standards are out regarding how providers will comply if their certified EHR companies do not adopt changes simultaneously.”
McElhiney explains, “The U.S. doesn’t have a set privacy law. HIPAA Rules cover some areas, but there is nothing universal. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) covers privacy for medical apps. With the hodge podge between federal and state laws, we’re hoping the legislation would lead to a national-level law, clarifying who is responsible for protecting what.”
After the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was handed down, conflicting state and federal laws, ad hoc efforts to either expand or limit access to reproductive health in a specific locality, injunctions, and trigger laws are creating an uncertain and ever-changing environment. It may be more accurate to state that healthcare providers now have less insight into the current access and privacy laws than they did at the moment the decision was published.
It’s more important than ever to have an organizational policy in place to ensure compliance with state and federal legislation. Any audits can create a mountain of work for your HIM department, resulting in an investigation that can go on for months and a potential fine up to $1 million. By outsourcing ROI to a partner who stays on top of changes in regulatory and compliance legislation, your organization can avoid fines and transfer the burden of compliance.
- Many healthcare organizations struggle with recruiting and retaining adequate staffing levels. Outsourcing can fill the gap, especially in medical records departments.
Outsourcing ROI ensures you have the resources required to manage your organization’s record requests, especially in cases when your in-house team is behind on requests for records or document filing. Backlogs happen for a variety of reasons; regardless, outsourcing ROI not only gets your organization caught up, but more importantly, it:
- Allows your staff to focus on patient care
- Keeps your medical records department current on requests
- Transfers responsibility for HIPPA compliance to the outsourced ROI service provider
- Can save your resources and money
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- Ensuring patient requests for records are fulfilled quickly is a high priority.
Today’s healthcare organizations face greater demands than ever from patients and payers needing medical records quickly and accurately. Usually, the only way to deliver HIPAA compliant, accurate and timely distribution of medical records is to put a higher burden on your medical records staff or increase your budget.
Outsourcing ROI, completely or to supplement your internal staff, ensures requests for records are handled efficiently, which improves patient care and satisfaction.
Ready to Explore Outsourcing Release of Information in 2023?
As your healthcare organization prepares for 2023, rely on ScanSTAT’s ROI services to help you address challenges associated with medical records, including evolving regulations and laws, staff shortages and quick, accurate turnaround.
Reach out to us today to get started.