Top 10 Regulatory Challenges in the Healthcare Environment

How does the regulatory framework governing healthcare impact providers?

Cover imageRegulatory frameworks are essential for ensuring compliance with basic standards. Used properly, they can serve as a model for governments to develop and enact regulations, rules and laws within specific areas of interest, including the healthcare industry. In some instances, however, the impact of regulatory, legal and ethical issues can be significant.

While the goal of a regulatory environment should be to ensure higher quality of care, many within the industry fear the increased focus on regulations has caused the quality of patient care to suffer. Physicians have expressed a growing frustration with the complex and expensive systems intended to make healthcare more efficient. A confusing array of record systems, compounded by ever-increasing federal regulations, have made patient record keeping even more complicated.

To meet these challenges, health care providers need to move beyond a mindset of mere compliance. Organizations must develop thoughtful policies and procedures designed in response to emerging issues rather than current regulation. Otherwise, they risk getting caught in a constant cycle of change that increases frustration, limits effectiveness, and ultimately shifts focus away from the serious threats facing the health care industry. Greater awareness and understanding of these challenges will also help prevent physicians, hospitals, and healthcare organizations from inadvertently engaging in behavior, however well intended, that may place them in legal jeopardy.