The Need for Updated Healthcare Regulations: Insights from Industry Professionals

The Need for Updated Healthcare Regulations: Insights from Industry Professionals

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and innovate, it is essential to assess the effectiveness of existing regulations and identify areas where additional oversight is needed. In a recent discussion with healthcare professionals, several key points were raised regarding regulations in the sector.

One concern highlighted by Amanda Heidemann, CMIO, CMO at KeyCare, was the information-blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act. While ensuring patient access to their health information is crucial, physicians face challenges when patients receive potentially life-altering test results before they have been reviewed by the ordering physician. This can cause emotional distress for patients and delays in the necessary follow-up care. Finding a balance between preventing information blocking and ensuring timely and appropriate communication is essential.

Lesley Berkeyheiser, CCSFP, CHQP, Senior Assessor at DirectTrust, emphasized the need for clarity and consolidation of healthcare regulations. Many organizations struggle to navigate the complex landscape of various regulations, resulting in gaps and frustration for patients seeking access to their own data. Berkeyheiser suggested a comprehensive framework that combines privacy, security, breach prevention, and interoperability topics, ensuring that all entities handling sensitive information adhere to the same set of rules. This approach would promote transparency, patient rights, and consistency across the industry.

Eden Avraham-Katz, VP of Legal & Compliance at 1upHealth, voiced concerns about the prior authorization process. Avraham-Katz proposed a systemic change where providers submit a set of clinical data elements instead of individual authorization requests. This approach would streamline the process, enabling providers to select multiple services or medications within a single request, ultimately improving efficiency and reducing administrative burden.

G. Cameron Deemer, CEO at DrFirst, called for the removal of commercial incentives that restrict clinicians’ access to clinical data. Access to critical information, such as medication history, should not be limited by commercial models that jeopardize patient safety. Deemer emphasized the need for equal access to clinical data for all healthcare providers, regardless of their practice setting. This would enable more informed care decisions and improve patient outcomes.

Gregg Church, President at 4medica, pointed out the absence of a universal patient identifier as a significant barrier to the adoption of emerging technologies. Without a consistent and secure way to identify patients, data security and privacy are at risk. Church called for the implementation of a universal patient ID, advocating for a standardized approach that eliminates unnecessary risks associated with patient identification.

Finally, Andrew Norden, MD, MPH, MBA, Chief Medical Officer at OncoHealth, highlighted the need for increased regulation to prevent shortages of inexpensive chemotherapy drugs. Nationwide shortages of crucial medications create uncertainty for patients and may compromise their treatment outcomes. Norden stressed the importance of regulatory oversight to mitigate these shortages and ensure access to life-saving treatments.

In conclusion, the perspectives shared by these healthcare professionals shed light on the need for updated regulations that address emerging challenges and promote patient-centric care. The recommendations made highlight the importance of balancing patient access to information, streamlining administrative processes, ensuring equal data access, establishing a universal patient identifier, and preventing medication shortages. Continued discussions and collaborative efforts among industry stakeholders are crucial to the ongoing improvement of healthcare regulations.

– (1) Amanda Heidemann, CMIO, CMO at KeyCare
– (2) Lesley Berkeyheiser, CCSFP, CHQP, Senior Assessor at DirectTrust
– (3) Eden Avraham-Katz, VP of Legal & Compliance at 1upHealth
– (4) G. Cameron Deemer, CEO at DrFirst
– (5) Gregg Church, President at 4medica
– (6) Andrew Norden, MD, MPH, MBA, Chief Medical Officer at OncoHealth

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