CMS proposes new rule for long term care facilities

Extra staff can help practices adapt to EHR needs and meet challenges.

This month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) submitted a proposed rule for long term care centers. According to the proposal, posted on the Federal Register, the rule is primarily intended to change the participation requirements so these facilities would be able to improve their service. Among the different conditions addressed in this piece are several items referring to electronic records use.

Long term care facilities may need more staff and advisory to create a strong plan for EHR compliance.Long term care facilities may need more staff and advisory to create a strong plan for EHR compliance.

Some of these points include the privacy rights of the individual patient, such as the rights of a resident to access their own medical records, as well as their subsequent right to personal privacy. The proposed rule extends that right to encompass not just medical details but "verbal (that is, spoken), written, and electronic communications."

The disparity between observing regulations and conducting proper care continues to be a challenge for providers.

Responding to this possible mandate may take more than just successfully integrating new technology. Cleveland.com reports that the need for medical assistants has grown by 30 percent since 2012, paralleling the increasing need for electronic health records. These assistants not only have to be familiar with technology, but capable in adapting to whatever outpatient clinic or other care center they work at.

The disparity between observing regulations and conducting proper care continues to be a challenge for providers. Healthcare IT News recently quoted Steven Stack, president of the American Medical Association, who addressed some of the difficulties doctors have with records at a recent Town Hall event.

"We know there are many frustrations with electronic health records," he said. "They have so much potential to improve healthcare, improve quality, improve our efficiency, improve patient engagement, and yet that's not the current state of reality."

Creating a culture of compliance within your business will be easier with a long term care consultant team who works closely with your practice and creates a path for successful records management.

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