The U.S has always been in the lead on the healthcare front since the 1800s. For instance, President John Adams introduced the Relief of Disables and Sick Seamen Act, passed by the Fifth U.S Congress in 1978. This act authorized the government to deduct 20 cents from seamans’ salaries every month to fund healthcare for fellow sailors injured during the line of duty. It was the first instance of public health policy made at the federal level in America.
That said, today’s healthcare policies and laws are complex. As a result, healthcare leaders and managers must understand them thoroughly to ensure that their healthcare facilities function and operate as per the healthcare law set out by the U.S. government. With that in mind, let us look at a few healthcare policies that widely affect healthcare delivery, quality, and administration in the U.S. So, without waiting any further, some of these healthcare policies and initiatives are listed down below.
1. The HCQIA (Healthcare Quality Improvement Act)
This healthcare policy or act offers healthcare institutions and professionals immunity during assessments. This law came about because of the Supreme Court ruling related to the abuse of the doctor peer-review process. That said, The Healthcare Quality Improvement Act continues to evolve and change as the U.S. Justice Department and Court Rooms pass out new rulings.
In the end, the main aim of this healthcare policy is to protect healthcare providers and facilities from peer-review-related cases and lawsuits. Not to mention, this healthcare policy also encourages healthcare professionals to register complaints when they experience dangerous and unprofessional peer conduct. Having said that, to know more about policies that might affect your healthcare practice or facility, consider obtaining a healthcare management degree. For instance, a master in health administration will allow you to learn about various government policies that you should abide by to ensure you run a smooth and efficient healthcare facility or clinic.
2. CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program)
Children’s health is of the utmost importance in every country in the world. That said, the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) offers a solid foundation for providing healthcare coverage to children of low-income parents. Moreover, this policy or program extends the 2009 CHIPRA(Children’s Health Insurance Authorization) act, providing healthcare services to ineligible patients.
This program receives funds from the federal government and other respective states and provides medical insurance to underprivileged children. Moreover, today’s ACA (Affordable Care Act) makes this program more accessible to children across the entire United States of America.
3. Medicaid Policy
Just like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, The Medicaid policy introduced by President Jonhson provides insurance for individuals who earn a lower than average monthly income. Nowadays, this healthcare policy offers insurance coverage to more than seventy million U.S. citizens in total. In fact, Medicaid reimbursed around fifty percent of all medical expenses to patients that applied for the program.
Furthermore, the Medicaid policy provides coverage to multiple recipients such as disabled individuals, temporary unemployed workers, and pregnant women. That said, according to recent legislation, the number of uninsured people has been lowered to nine percent, making it the highest healthcare coverage rate in American history.
4. The ACA (Affordable Care Act)
Introduced by president Barack Obama, this act is a modified version of previous healthcare acts imagined by previous U.S. presidents. However, this act requires U.S. citizens to apply for healthcare insurance while making exceptions for few ethnic groups. Furthermore, this act is also applicable to businesses that employ more than two hundred employees. However, they must apply for healthcare insurance too to benefits from the ACA.
Moreover, the ACA also gave birth to the American Health Benefits Exchange, enabling the American public to compare and review healthcare insurance plans. In the end, the ACA does wonders when it comes to shaping patient care delivery. After all, the healthcare industry can take advantage of the input to deliver low-expense, high-quality patient care services simultaneously.
5. HRRP (Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program)
An initiative of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), the HRRP required the 9CMS) Medicaid and Medicare services to decrease payouts to healthcare institutions that see massive patient readmissions. A few years ago, the act was introduced during President Barrack Obama’s tenure and defined readmissions according to 30-day period repeat patient admissions in CMS-controlled healthcare facilities. Furthermore, exceptions are offered to hospitals dealing with particular medical conditions such as pneumonia and heart disease and factors like multiple illnesses and poor health conditions.
6. PSQIA (Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act)
This healthcare policy or act protects healthcare professionals working in dangerous, unsafe working environments and conditions. U.S. legislation created the PSQIA to encourage individuals to register complaints of hazardous working conditions and medical mistakes and errors while maintaining the reporter’s confidentiality in the process. in fact, if there is a breach in privacy and confidentiality, the HSS will slap on the breacher.
Furthermore, this policy also authorizes the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) to develop a list of PSOs (Patient Safety Organizations) that gathers and revies patient safety information to improve care delivery and quality. Plus, this policy is enforced by the OCR (Office of Civil Rights) on national healthcare institutions.
7. The HITECH (The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act
According to HSS, The HITECH Act enforces the meaningful utilization and adoption of healthcare technologies in healthcare facilities across the entire United States. Moreover, it also makes it necessary to perform audits of healthcare facilities and clinics to identify HIPPA security and privacy rules compliance.
This act helps healthcare facilities protect patient data from breaches. After all, unlike credit cards, healthcare records cant be reset, changed, or canceled, making it critical to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality. That said, non-compliance could lead to massive fines, with healthcare facilities facing up to 1.5 million dollars every year for a single violation.
The complexities and intricacy’s of today’s medical policies and regulations makes it vital for healthcare leaders and manager to remain up-to-date with the latest goings-on in the healthcare industry. Moreover, these professionals also have to be familiar with various government organizations governing the healthcare industry. With that in mind, consider the policies, acts, and regulations mentioned above to ensure your practice remains compliant, ensuring high care quality and delivery as a result.