shutterstock_272486657Almost 20 years ago Congress passed HIPAA, a law that called for the creation of a distinct health identifier for individuals. However, soon after the 1996 passing of HIPAA laws, controversy arose around concerns about whether or not the patient’s privacy would be protected. In response to these controversies, Congress passed an additional law in 1999 that prohibited federal funding for the identifier.

Since then the handling of health records has moved towards a digital and electronic format. Electronic health records systems allow patient information to be shared amongst hospitals and private practices effortlessly and quickly. However, the development and growth of EHRs lately has increased the need for an identifier that would help ensure that the right records are exchanged among multiple providers correctly.

The largest group driving Congress to change their policies on HIPAA law is the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, or CHIME for short. This group consists of around 1,600 members and includes healthcare CIOs and CISOs, amongst others medical professionals. Their primary goal is to urge Congress to remove the ban that prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from using federal funds for the development of a unique patient identifier.

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shutterstock_111269969One of the most consistent challenges CFOs encounter every day is how the finance function can be more conducive to the success of their business. Investment in financial planning and analysis is not always prioritized due to the fact that it’s much more difficult to guarantee a sustainable hard-dollar return from a long-term talent development program, especially when compared to other possible initiatives.

But what would happen if FP&A guaranteed to deliver forward-thinking and actionable insights? As new demands on finance arise, CFOs are learning that maintaining the status quo and doing things the way they’ve always been done is not enough to stay ahead in such a competitive market. In order to meet and respond to such a demanding market environment, you’ll want to be sure that your FP&A process meets these four characteristics:

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shutterstock_185825672We’re less than three months away from the deadline for providers to migrate towards the usage of ICD-10 coding, and yet many feel that they’re still not prepared for this change. According to a survey conducted by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange, more than half of the 1,100 organizations polled weren’t even aware of the October 1 transition date. Most are still in the process of end-to-end testing, and uncertainty over further delays has had a negative impact on some readiness activities.

Providers have been attempting to prepare and properly educate themselves in anticipation of making the switch over to ICD-10 compliance. Even after being delayed in 2009, 2012 and again in 2014, many providers still don’t feel totally confident in their readiness to make the switch.

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shutterstock_218372422When it comes to your most critical pieces of data and protecting it from outsiders, you can never be too careful. Unfortunately there are times when unauthorized users, regardless of the technical safety measures you have in place, breach and access your private information. When it comes to mitigating the risk that comes with document management, there are three essential steps that many organizations tend to overlook that can significantly help in the prevention of data breach.

Privileged Account Monitoring

One of the leading causes of data breach these days doesn’t come from malicious software or viruses, but rather from the perpetrator gaining access through an authorized account. A recent example of this occurred at the end of 2014 when a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley stole private information for 350,000 wealth management clients. This data theft serves as a cautionary tale to firms that give employees access to vast amounts of customer data.

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shutterstock_219601783Companies of all sizes participate in the handling of large amounts of business-critical and sensitive information on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many also lack the technology, standardized processes, and trained personnel to handle the document flow in the most efficient and safe manner. Document management is a breeding ground for business liabilities that often operate at a high level of risk that could potentially have major impacts to the organization. While companies are increasingly outsourcing a variety of document management processes in order to help mitigate this risk, many achieve unsatisfactory results.

Typical in-house approaches to the document management process also have difficulty in keeping pace with the heightened demands of decision makers these days. They also increase both the operational costs and risks, such as poor customer service resulting from a lack of quick access to client information and human errors due to manual processes. For many organizations, though, document management is merely a non-strategic overhead function, and any resources dedicated towards the handling of paperwork is nothing more than a distraction from core operations.

A study conducted by IBM reported that data breaches caused by poor in-house document management causes more than just headaches. It showed that the average total cost of these types of data breaches comes to about $3.79 million, which is an increase of over 23 percent since 2013. Overall, you can expect to see each lost or stolen record cost your company $154 a piece.

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shutterstock_150887405Many businesses are moving towards a paperless environment for their internal processes such as accounting, inventory, customer service, human resources and marketing. These paperless systems create efficiencies for the business that wouldn’t be possible with physical document management – efficiencies such as enabling faster communications and providing rich data for supporting business decisions.

However, integrating physical documents into an electronic system often presents challenges to bringing your organization into an all-digital environment. The mishandling of critical information can lead to confusion and time wasted trying to “hunt down” the appropriate paperwork. There’s opportunity for data to be lost or stolen during its transition into digital form. Attempting to move to a paperless environment in an unrealistic time frame can catastrophically disrupt administrative and operational processes.

Avoiding the common mishaps of moving into a paperless and all-digital environment is possible by following steps put forth by those with experience in document management. The first of these four steps is essential for your organization to successfully make this shift towards digital document management.

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shutterstock_223695640In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act – or the HITECH Act for short – was passed alongside the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As a result of the passing of this new law, the need for EHR software has gone through the roof. Software Advice, a Gartner company, published a study earlier this year that showed that the number of buyers replacing their existing EHR service has increased by 59% since 2014. This remarkable statistic suggests that many EHR products are failing to meet their user’s requirements.

As the shift towards a virtual platform becomes the new-normal, we’re seeing a burgeoning industry of BPOs that claim to meet all of their user’s needs. The good news for buyers looking to adopt one of these services is that the market for them is growing and the options are numerous. The bad news, however, is that many of these operations aren’t providing the functionality its users are looking for. With various options available to choose from, it’s important for buyers to recognize whether or not a prospective service can meet these four fundamental requirements:

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Smart Watch and Smart PhoneIn this new era of the Internet of Things, where devices can automatically collect, aggregate and analyze data to identify predictive user trends, technology gives people the capability to monitor their health in many ways that help them take steps to become healthier. “Smart” technology like the Apple Watch or FitBit count the number of steps taken in a day, measure the number of calories consumed, track sleep cycles and even monitor heartbeats. By tracking all the data, users can make calculated changes in their daily lives that help them reach their goals, such as increasing weight loss or improving quality of sleep.

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healthcareDeath and taxes used to be the only guarantees in life, but like it or not, the U.S. government has over the last few years introduced a third guarantee in American lives: healthcare.

The healthcare industry is facing an incredible amount of disruption through its ongoing transformation. Rather than feel threatened by this disruption, companies should act now to take advantage of growth opportunities in this sector.

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