What Are Examples of Adapting Quickly to Changes in Healthcare Regulations?

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    Doctors Magazine

    What Are Examples of Adapting Quickly to Changes in Healthcare Regulations?

    Healthcare professionals are no strangers to the rapid pace of change in their industry, as evidenced by a Product Manager in Telehealth who navigated the shift to virtual consultations during the pandemic. Alongside expert perspectives, we've gathered additional answers that reflect the diverse ways in which the healthcare sector responds to evolving regulations and policies. From the widespread adoption of electronic prescription systems to the meticulous updates in ICD-10 coding knowledge, this article explores a spectrum of adaptive strategies.

    • Adapting to Telehealth During COVID-19
    • Pharmacy Shifts After Hydrocodone Reclassification
    • Incorporating Electronic Prescription Systems
    • Hospitals Update Privacy Policies for GDPR
    • Insurance Adjustments to ACA Compliance
    • Pharmacies Adopt Real-Time Benefits Verification
    • Healthcare Providers Update ICD-10 Coding Knowledge

    Adapting to Telehealth During COVID-19

    A relevant example of this adaptability can be seen in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding the expansion of telehealth services.

    Prior to the pandemic, telehealth was a relatively underutilized tool in many healthcare systems. However, with the onset of COVID-19 and the associated social distancing guidelines, there was an urgent need to switch to a more remote healthcare delivery model. This shift was facilitated by temporary changes in healthcare regulations, such as relaxed restrictions around telemedicine by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the United States.

    Healthcare providers had to quickly adapt to these changes. They rapidly integrated telehealth solutions into their practice, training staff, and educating patients on how to use these new tools. This swift adaptation was crucial in maintaining continuity of care while adhering to the new safety guidelines.

    For example, a clinic in New York City, previously reliant on in-person visits, transitioned to a telehealth model within a week. This rapid change enabled them to continue providing essential healthcare services, including routine check-ups and management of chronic conditions, during the lockdown.

    This scenario highlights the importance of flexibility and quick adaptation in healthcare, especially when responding to unforeseen challenges such as a global health crisis. The ability to pivot and embrace new technologies like telehealth not only ensured uninterrupted patient care but also showcased the resilience and innovation inherent in the healthcare sector.

    Deepak Singh
    Deepak SinghProduct Manager (Telehealth)

    Pharmacy Shifts After Hydrocodone Reclassification

    As a New York pharmacist, the moment the DEA reclassified hydrocodone from Schedule III to Schedule II stands out. It was a significant shift, and we had to act fast. We updated our processes, trained our staff on the new guidelines, and communicated with our patients to ensure they understood how their prescriptions would be affected. Our focus was on making these changes as seamless as possible, balancing strict adherence to the new regulations with maintaining the high level of care our patients expect.

    Dr. Katy Dubinsky
    Dr. Katy DubinskyCo-Founder and CEO, PharmD, Vitalize

    Incorporating Electronic Prescription Systems

    Clinics across the board have had to adapt swiftly by incorporating systems that allow them to issue electronic prescriptions. This adaptation was necessary to not only comply with new regulations but also to ensure patients receive their medications without delay. By doing so, clinics have improved efficiency and reduced the likelihood of prescription errors.

    This change has also facilitated a smoother transaction between healthcare providers and pharmacies. If your clinic has yet to make this switch, now is the time to explore electronic prescription solutions.

    Hospitals Update Privacy Policies for GDPR

    Hospitals are tasked with the protection of patient information, a responsibility that has become more challenging with recent changes in privacy legislation such as the GDPR. As a response, many have overhauled their privacy policies, ensuring that patient data is handled with the utmost care and in compliance with stringent guidelines. The revised policies help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and build trust between patients and healthcare providers.

    Maintaining patient confidentiality is cornerstone in healthcare, and this proactive approach demonstrates a hospital's commitment to privacy. Review your hospital's privacy policies today to guarantee they meet the current standards.

    Insurance Adjustments to ACA Compliance

    Insurance companies have been quick to respond to changes in healthcare regulations, particularly with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They have adjusted their coverage offers to ensure policies are in full alignment with the ACA mandates, which often means adding benefits or adjusting cost structures. These changes can lead to more accessible healthcare for many individuals and help avoid potential penalties for non-compliance.

    Insurance providers have demonstrated their agility and commitment to delivering relevant healthcare plans. Policyholders are advised to check their current healthcare plans to confirm that they are receiving all the benefits now available to them.

    Pharmacies Adopt Real-Time Benefits Verification

    In an industry where the cost of healthcare is a major concern, pharmacies have embraced the adoption of real-time benefits verification technology. This new method allows pharmacists to instantly retrieve a patient's insurance coverage details, making the prescription process more transparent and cost-effective. Such technology ensures that patients have immediate access to the information needed to make informed decisions about their prescription options.

    This streamlines the pharmacy experience and aids in managing out-of-pocket expenses. Patients are encouraged to inquire about the availability of this service at their local pharmacy.

    Healthcare Providers Update ICD-10 Coding Knowledge

    Healthcare providers are continually updating their knowledge base to stay abreast of changes within the industry, such as the revisions to the International Classification of Diseases, the tenth revision (ICD-10) coding system. Updated training for providers has become critical, ensuring accurate and current coding for diagnoses and treatments. Proper use of these codes is essential not only for record keeping and billing but also for maintaining a high standard of patient care.

    Through ongoing education, healthcare providers can ensure that they are precise and compliant in their reporting. Check with your healthcare provider to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest ICD-10 training.