COVID-19 and the Impact on Compliance Operations in Hospitals

April 3, 2020 Marcy Utley

Hospitals and healthcare providers around the world are taking center stage amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis are true heroes who deserve our collective gratitude and appreciation.   

Frontline workers are not the only ones impacted in the healthcare industry, however. In the U.S., the effort to support hospitals during this critical period has resulted in rapid changes to the regulatory environment. 

In speaking to our hospital customers this week, I have learned how these changes are putting pressure on compliance teams to quickly adapt and respond.

  • Since many companies are under work-from-home orders, compliance departments are managing workloads and accessing systems remotely.
  • A focus on telemedicine has triggered regulatory waivers and exemptions from CMS and OCR, impacting the service, coding and billing processes. System updates are required to allow for visits to occur and providers to receive payment.  
  • Compliance offices are seeing a surge in COVID-19 compliance-related questions and issues that require quick triage, research and response. 
  • Certain compliance policies, protocols and procedures must be temporarily amended to allow for exceptions.

With this in mind, SAI Global is providing tips and best practices to our healthcare customers in an effort to facilitate COVID-19 response management and so that you can get the best out of our SAI360 tools.

Compliance Workspace

Leverage the automated regulatory content feed in Compliance Workspace to capture CMS program transmittals and HPMS memos. The workflow automation can quickly assign tasks to your Legal and Compliance team for review and resulting internal guidance.

Homepage

Keep your teams informed on important information by adding or updating tabs on your homepage and publish it to all your users.

  • Add the RSS Headlines plug-in with links to guidance published by CMS, CDC, WHO and more. As your users log in, they will see the latest news from these agencies, aggregated on one page. Each feed must be in its own plug-in, but you can add multiple plug-ins to a tab.
  • Add or update the Announcements plug-in and create messages just for your organization.

Incident Manager

The Incident Manager workflow can help with the triage, research, and response process.  Reporting from Incident Manager post-crisis will be very helpful in determining a go-forward approach for the response to the next crisis.

  • Place a web link on your corporate intranet site for staff to report incidents, issues, and inquiries related to COVID-19. Include a field on the intake form for capturing COVID-19 context. 

Policy Manager

Using the Policy Manager, use a drop-down field selection to capture the COVID-19 context for interim policies or policy exception notices.  This field can be indexed for Search so staff can quickly retrieve all changed policies related to COVID-19.

More information

Access these video tutorials and online help topics for step-by-step guidance on how to apply these ideas.

 


Additional resources

During times like this, communication and collaboration between leadership and teams is paramount. SAI Global is here to help. See additional resources from our wider Risk and Learning portfolio.

  • Resilience 2020: Six webinars on business continuity management during the coronavirus pandemic. In this virtual conference, we covered best practices for business continuity teams as well as insights from experts on remote work, crisis communications, and vendor risks in a dynamic supply chain. Recorded March 16-17, all sessions are available to replay on-demand.
  • Visit our COVID-19 pandemic information resource hub, which includes reading materials, podcasts, and other best-practice guidance around managing business continuity, compliance and risk management amid the coronavirus pandemic. Also, see our health & safety resources for EHS professionals to monitor and ensure the health and safety of workers during COVID-19.

About the Author

Marcy Utley

Marcy Utley is Senior Product Manager at SAI Global. She is responsible for the company's compliance and risk management solutions for the healthcare market. Marcy ensures SAI Global’s Compliance risk product line meets the needs of healthcare compliance and revenue cycle professionals. Before joining SAI Global, Marcy worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years. She held various positions, including key roles in Physician Services, Revenue Cycle, and the Compliance Department.Marcy holds a Bachelors degree in Business Management and is a member of HCCA, AAPC, and NAHRI.

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