Those who plan to enter the healthcare business will find it easier to do so nowadays. The options are already abundant.
For example, if they have enough capital, they can look into franchising urgent care opportunities. The demand for this facility has been increasing over the years. The Urgent Care Association (UCA) revealed that the number of centers has gone up by nearly 10% from 2017 to 2018.
Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shared that healthcare opportunities are more likely to increase by a staggering 15% between 2019 and 2029. It will enjoy one of the fastest industry growths — a sign of its pressing need.
However, getting into the healthcare business goes beyond finding the perfect location or opportunity. While it’s open for people who don’t have the experience, it’s less forgiving on those who don’t know the various healthcare laws.
The penalties for violating healthcare policies can be severe, ranging from heavy penalties to even jail time. To avoid dealing with complex legal issues later on, future healthcare entrepreneurs should acquaint themselves with the following:
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Enacted in 1996, this federal healthcare security law is perhaps the most popular today.
HIPAA provides universal guidelines covered entities have to follow to safeguard the privacy of their clients or patients. These groups include healthcare providers like hospitals and clinics, health plan sellers, and healthcare clearinghouses.
Primarily, the law prevents the wanton disclosure or acquisition of personally identifiable patient information without their knowledge or consent. This covers even incidents of treatment and illegal access to their data.
The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) enacted in 2005 aims to correct the healthcare system’s critical mistakes. According to the proponent of the law, the idea stems from a report called “To Err Is Human.”
Here, it cited that thousands of Americans eventually suffer or die from gross medical errors. Interestingly, many of these are not due to negligence. Instead, the faulty systems or conditions could have remained uncorrected, leading to mistakes or non-prevention of these adverse events.
PSQIA establishes patient safety organizations (PSOs), which work to help reduce medical errors. Some notable groups include the World Alliance for Patient Safety under the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
The law strongly suggests thorough and updated reporting and analyses on data that could impact or enhance patient safety and healthcare quality. However, to continuously protect the privacy of the patients, it also emphasizes a patient work product.
It is a document that contains information that may help in the reporting and analysis without prejudice or risk of violating the patient’s privacy. Usually, healthcare providers prepare it for PSOs.
COPPA is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act passed in 1998 but enacted only two years later. It is a federal law that limits information websites can collect from children, especially those below 13 years old.
Much of it came from a survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 1998 that showed among 200 websites, over 85% collected data from children. Among these, nearly half didn’t disclose this information or explain it to young users.
Although this rule is not healthcare-related, it still matters to the industry since many facilities now operate or even offer services online.
With the many laws governing or affecting the healthcare industry, would-be entrepreneurs can benefit from working with legal professionals. This way, they can ensure they remain up-to-date and, most of all, compliant. Following the rules can improve the status of the business since it promotes credibility.