• Predictions for 2016

  • Happy New Year! In looking back at 2015, how did your healthcare predictions fare?  

    It was a busy year; healthcare breaches led the way, followed by the mandated conversion on October 1st of ICD-10, followed by large monetary fines assessed from OCR (The Office for Civil Rights) for noncompliance of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act). We cannot forget the changes in Meaningful Use, Affordable Care Act (ACA)and mergers of some major health insurance companies.

    Looking in the rearview mirror, and what has been on the horizon, I am predicting the following for 2016:

    • No surprise, healthcare breaches remain on top. In 2015 there were 180 healthcare breaches and over 175.5 million records stolen.

    • Coming in second is the increased enforcement of HIPAA, taking it to the next level. Joint investigations, layering of fines and violations will continue to be conducted with by OCR, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State Attorney Generals, just to name a few.

    • Tied for second are the changes within the Information Technology sector and the emerging role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The C-Suite needs to understand the “long game” of technology, not just patches. IT is increasingly driven by many factors: security, analytics and interoperability. $6 billion dollars have been associated in 2015 to healthcare cyberattacks and $ 4.5 billion was lost in 2014. The C-Suite cannot afford ignore the importance of the CIO and a strong Information Technology Department.

    • Data, data and more data comes in third.  New mandates regarding quality measures and efficiencies under pay-for-performance models necessitate a greater visibility into clinical data and a new level of interoperability.

    • Number Four: mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Digital healthcare leads the way with funding in 2015 matching the record-shattering pace of 2014, according to a report by Rock Health. Over $4.3 billion went into the market this year, with 180 merger and acquisitions. Other M&A activity related to healthcare, medical insurance companies, hospitals, private clinics and specialty healthcare.

    • Number Five:  Cognitive Computing. Healthcare is one of the last industries to embrace technology, moving from paper charts to electronic health records (EHR). This shift has created a significant data problem, essentially a large percentage of their patient narrative is locked within systems that do not communicate with other systems. With cognitive computing, healthcare providers should have timely access to a more complete patient care profile, aiding in the care of their patients.

    • Closing out the list of 2016; ACA created consumers which are managing how they spend their healthcare dollars. Along with the rise of prescription drugs, this will drive the industry to create new tools and services, such as payment plans and pricing information to help consumers pay for services.

    What are your predictions for healthcare in 2016? Tweet me your 2016 predictions @judithconsult

    Judith Lindsay, CHP and is CEO of JAL Consulting. Judith tackles all the elements of the HIPAA compliance puzzle. Successfully assisting organizations to make sense of it all by developing and implementing correct policies/ procedures that are reasonable and appropriate for a particular entity. Judith provides consulting, training and is available for speaking engagements. To read more about the world of compliance subscribed to JAL’s insightful newsletter at www.jalconsultantsaz.com OR follow JAL on Twitter @ judithconsult.