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How Hospitals Should Prepare for the Rest of 2022

Hospitals have gone through many changes since the end of 2019, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we move into 2022, hospitals need to stay on top of regulatory and compliance changes. At the same time, they’ll need to prepare for the new phase of COVID-19 as it transitions from a pandemic to an endemic.

What to Expect for Hospitals in 2022

We expect hospitals to experience these general things in the new year.

Compliance changes

Hospitals should be prepared to implement compliance changes in 2022 related to the Transparency in Coverage Act. This act requires health insurers to accurately tell consumers the cost of their procedure or service before the patient undergoes it.

Hospitals will need to ensure they comply with this act in their billing department, which may require some additional collaboration and communication with health insurers.

Regulatory changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a rule in 2021 that goes into effect on January 1, 2022. Some of the things the rule requires of hospitals are to update how they report outpatient updates and be transparent with their pricing. Hospitals that fail to meet the requirements of these regulatory changes may face stiff penalties in the form of fines.

Hospitals need to be aware of all the regulatory changes going into effect in 2022 to ensure they deliver quality care and stay compliant with the federal government’s new regulations.

Transitions of care

In 2012, CMS started penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates as part of the Hospital Readmission Reductions Program. Over the last 10 years, the rates of hospitals receiving penalties have steadily decreased, indicating that hospitals are finding ways to avoid unnecessary readmission of their patients.

In 2022, hospitals need to continue focusing on transitions of care to ensure that patients get to the right care facility after a procedure. HealthLink Dimensions can assist with this. By using the Community Resource Network Directory (CRND), hospitals can ensure they find the best care facility for their patients based on factors such as location and insurance information.

Master data management and IT

Data is becoming increasingly prevalent in healthcare. The challenge is keeping data clean and organized within healthcare organizations, such as hospitals. In 2022, it will be essential for hospitals to utilize master data management to stay on top of their data.

HealthLink Dimensions can help! We only focus on healthcare data and work diligently to ensure our data is accurate, organized, and clean so you can focus on delivering quality healthcare to your patients.

COVID-19 transitions to endemic

In 2022, we may see COVID-19 transition from a pandemic to an endemic due partly to the prevalence of vaccines and antiviral medication to treat the virus. What this means for hospitals is that there will still be a need to treat patients with COVID-19, but the number of patients hospitalized with the virus should decrease. This will free hospitals up to focus on other patients and to do more elective surgeries.

While it’s difficult to say what “normal” may look like when the COVID-19 pandemic makes this critical shift, it’s fair to assume that hospitals may be able to operate at a standard capacity rather than the elevated capacities they have been experiencing for the better part of the last two years.

Bottom Line

There is some good news on the horizon for hospitals as we shift from pandemic times to endemic times. However, many of the processes put in place due to the pandemic will continue to be relevant in 2022 and beyond.

HealthLink Dimensions has several services for hospitals that can help you stay compliant, find the best physicians, and manage data. Contact us to learn more.

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