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How an anesthesia management partner can help you stay compliant

March 24, 2023

To meet mandated compliance standards, medical facilities have an ongoing challenge to keep up with the ever-changing anesthesia regulatory landscape. If not done correctly, it can affect their ability to provide safe and quality patient care. Delving into HIPAA regulations, drug laws, and fraud/antitrust issues are all essential for medical organizations but require extensive staff resources that may already be stretched thin.

Despite the abundance of perioperative regulations and legal implications, only a fraction of healthcare organizations has proper compliance officers on staff. Without adequate attention to detail or investing resources into managing regulatory issues, it can be costly – HIPAA fines could reach up to $1.5 million per incident annually, while Poneomon Institute’s research shows that the cost for non-compliant employees is more than three times higher (around $820 per employee) versus compliant costs of $222 per employee. Moreover, overlooking these details may result in hefty penalties beyond financial losses, such as:

  • Data and security breaches – As the healthcare sector rapidly digitalizes, medical organizations must take preemptive action to ensure patient data remains secure. Breach of confidential information can come with costly repercussions; hospitals and other providers have been hit hard by hefty fines due to inadequate electronic safeguards.
  • Legal action – Non-compliance with healthcare regulations also increases the risk of lawsuits that could drain resources from the organization to pay legal fees and possibly even settlements. Hospitals can best protect themselves by ensuring they have safety protocols in place and sufficient training for all personnel to prove that all due diligence was established.
  • Decreased patient care – Non-compliance can have far-reaching consequences for patient outcomes, from impacting the quality of care to reducing available resources for purchasing equipment or increasing staffing. Fines and temporary service disruptions resulting from non-compliance can severely disrupt a facility’s operations and reputation, ultimately impacting the patient.

An anesthesia management partner can help ensure compliance and take this burden off your shoulders in several ways:


Implementing policies and procedures

Proactive compliance begins with setting expectations and communicating them effectively to all employees in the department. Establishing procedures and policies and providing related training are essential for safeguarding an organization against legal implications due to non-compliance or negligence. A partner can provide an outline for processes and documentation of these activities to demonstrate that proper measures were taken toward attaining compliance.


Tracking employee practices

To ensure compliance and demonstrate due diligence, healthcare facilities should have employees sign off on policies they have read and understood. Best practices in many other industries show that tracking who has signed off on which policy can be very beneficial for creating an environment of trust between employers and employees alike. The proper management partner will have the experience to develop organizational accountability by ensuring the expectations are clear to all anesthesia personnel.


Managing compliance training

In order to achieve a truly meaningful and effective compliance education program, it is essential that training extends beyond simply “checking the box.” Management partners focus on developing policies with employees to make real-world connections on how relevant laws and regulations apply within their specific job roles. Training must also cover practical examples of common healthcare issues during daily operations to provide comprehensive guidance for handling these situations appropriately.


Overseeing contracts 

Healthcare regulations are constantly changing, making it more challenging to keep contracts updated. Drafting each new agreement from scratch or repurposing them can be tedious and time-consuming if all the requirements aren’t identified correctly. Utilizing an automated process reduces this complexity by ensuring that no key terms are missed while streamlining the overall process of maintaining compliance with relevant laws and regulations.


Periodic compliance audits

Staying up to date on compliance requirements is no small feat, but having a partner with a structured system in place can ensure that the hospital maintains its compliant status. Developing scorecards to measure adherence and utilizing automated reminders are effective tools for onboarding new contracts into the system. By being proactive with monitoring regulation updates regularly, any vulnerabilities or lapses in compliance will be identified early.


Ensure your compliance and best practices are met

When it comes to regulations and contract negotiations, your healthcare facility needs a comprehensive program that keeps you compliant. Premier Anesthesia offers these services which provide peace of mind in avoiding financial losses, security breaches, license revocations, business disruptions, or poor patient care – all helping protect the trust and reputation of your institution. Learn more about how to ensure your team is meeting regulations.