data comprehension of the effects of different treatments on the chronic complex disease processes. Unfortunately, technology also raises the chances that a patient’s personal data could be misused, jeopardizing the wellbeing of patients. Medical information should be kept private, and the sensitive nature of the information necessitates the scrutiny of its use and distribution. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) bear the burden of making sure privacy and confidentiality of PHI are kept in place by creating policies and procedures to follow with HIPAA guidelines (O’Herrin, Fost, & Kudsk, 2004). IRBs can impose fines that are very costly on health care facilities if they fail to follow the rules of HIPAA. Because the regulations are strict, there could be delays in giving patient care in a timely manner. Patients must sign a consent to release medical information form to share and release their private information to other health care providers. Most of the health care facilities utilize the electronic medical record system. Health care facilities are spending millions of dollars to strengthen information technology structure, reducing the budgets for patient care enhancement initiatives (O’Herrin, Fost, & Kudsk, 2004).
Effects of PPACA and HIPAA Laws on Hospitals The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contain provisions that can help lower Medicare payments to hospitals with the greatest readmission rate. One flaw of this act is not taking into consideration the mixed index of the hospitals with greater readmission rates. For example over the last ten years, immigrant population in New York City, New York, has skyrocketed. A larger number of particular immigrant communities are uninsured making it very difficult to keep up with the effectiveness of post-discharge measures. Historically, health insurance companies were stuck with the burden of preventing readmissions for financial reasons. Since 2010, the burden has shifted to the facilities for managing populations with illnesses that are chronic while they remain at home. Many facilities are forced to start disease management programs. Disease management departments are made up of physicians, nurse care managers, and social workers who follow up on patient care once the patient is discharged from the facility. Disease management programs could be cost prohibitive for smaller hospitals that are strapped for cash. Without extra federal funding, these facilities could not afford programs like the Disease Management Program. On a lighter note, competing facilities are sharing information to prevent the readmission of patients with chronic diseases. Five chronic diseases are responsible for over half of all readmissions. These include chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft, and end stage renal disease (Jencks, Williams, & Coleman, 2009).
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- Fall '14