Three healthcare compliance/regulatory issues that undoubtedly keep healthcare managers up all night that were different or nonexistent 10 years ago are:
- Cybersecurity and Data Privacy – In recent years, healthcare organizations have become increasingly reliant on technology, which has resulted in the creation, storage, and transmission of vast amounts of patient data. With the increasing frequency of data breaches and cyber attacks, healthcare organizations must comply with a range of regulatory requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These regulations mandate strict standards for protecting patient data, including encryption, access controls, and breach notification procedures. Healthcare managers lose sleep over this issue because a data breach or cyber attack can result in significant financial and reputational damage to the organization.
- Opioid Epidemic – Over the last decade, the United States has experienced an opioid epidemic, with millions of Americans becoming addicted to prescription opioids. In response, federal and state governments have enacted laws and regulations to address the crisis, such as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. Healthcare organizations are now required to develop and implement policies and procedures for prescribing and dispensing opioids, as well as to monitor patients for signs of addiction. Healthcare managers lose sleep over this issue because non-compliance can result in significant penalties and legal liability.
- Telehealth Regulations – With the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth services has increased exponentially, and this trend is likely to continue. The rapid adoption of telehealth has prompted regulatory agencies to develop new guidelines and requirements for telehealth services, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Interim Final Rule and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Telemedicine Waiver. Healthcare managers lose sleep over this issue because telehealth regulations are constantly evolving, and organizations must ensure they are in compliance with the latest requirements to avoid penalties and legal liability.
In conclusion, healthcare managers lose sleep over cybersecurity and data privacy, opioid epidemic regulations, and telehealth regulations because of the significant financial and reputational damage that non-compliance can cause, as well as the legal liability and penalties that may result. These compliance/regulatory issues were either nonexistent or different ten years ago and have become increasingly complex with the changing healthcare landscape.