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Talent Acquisition and Compliance in Healthcare

  • May 16, 2024
  • Joe DeSanzo
  • Approx. Read Time: 9 Minutes
PreCheck, Powered by Cisive. 3 Tips to Stay Compliant in Healthcare Talent Acquisition

Healthcare is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, so you need to be aware of relevant laws and regulations. If you don't comply, your organization could be fined, sanctioned by a government agency, or face other penalties.

Learn more about regulatory compliance in healthcare and find out how to overcome some of the most common compliance challenges.

 

 

Key Takeaways

Here's what you need to know about talent acquisition and regulatory compliance in healthcare:

        • Talent acquisition is a set of strategies and tactics for attracting, hiring, and retaining human resources.
        • Regulatory compliance is the process of complying with the rules governing healthcare organizations.
        • Talent acquisition has a major impact on compliance because it affects your ability to hire skilled employees who understand healthcare regulations and know how to comply with them.
        • One of the biggest challenges associated with talent acquisition and regulatory compliance is a lack of understanding of the applicant screening requirements.
        • To reduce risk and protect patient safety, it's important to keep abreast of new regulations, seek advice from a licensed attorney, and partner with an experienced background screening company.
 

 

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Talent Acquisition and Regulatory Compliance in Healthcare?
  2. How Does It Work in Healthcare?
  3. Why Is Maintaining Compliance Important?
  4. Common Challenges 
  5. Tips for Maintaining Compliance

 

What Is Talent Acquisition and Regulatory Compliance in Healthcare?

Talent acquisition and regulatory compliance in healthcare go hand in hand. Talent acquisition is a set of strategies and processes used to attract, hire, and retain human capital.

Regulatory compliance is the process of complying with the rules governing healthcare organizations. These rules take the form of policies, procedures, laws, regulations, and standards.

Some regulations apply to the strategies and processes used to acquire talent. Therefore, you need to understand each regulation and know how to apply it to your sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding activities.

Talent acquisition compliance combines the principles of talent acquisition and regulatory compliance into one, ensuring you find high-quality employees without violating any relevant laws or regulations.

For example, many organizations must conduct background checks to comply with the regulations developed by government-funded healthcare programs. This makes talent acquisition compliance especially difficult for employers in the healthcare industry.

PreCheck takes the guesswork out of talent acquisition compliance, giving your HR team more time for strategic planning and other activities. 

 

Recommended Reading: Best Healthcare Background Check Services 2024

 

How Does Talent Acquisition and Regulatory Compliance Work in Healthcare?

The strategies and processes you use for talent acquisition have a direct impact on your organization's ability to comply with industry rules. At the most basic level, talent acquisition compliance requires you to embed compliance activities into every stage of the sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding processes.

For example, many states require hospitals and other healthcare organizations to conduct criminal background checks on potential hires who will have direct contact with patients.

 

HC Regulations 1

 

Examples of Regulations

Before you can comply with healthcare regulations, you must know what they are. Here are some of the most common industry regulations and the potential penalties for noncompliance.

 

    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): HIPAA's privacy rule prohibits healthcare organizations from disclosing protected health information without authorization. Violating the privacy rule has significant consequences, including fines ranging from $100 to $50,000, depending on the severity of the violation. For violations associated with willful neglect, a healthcare organization may be fined anywhere from $250,000 to $1.5 million in a calendar year.

    • Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA): Under EMTALA, emergency departments are required to treat patients without regard for their insurance status or ability to pay for care. If your organization violates this law, the Office of the Inspector General may levy a fine ranging from $59,973 to $119,942, depending on how many beds you have. OIG may also choose to penalize an individual physician with a fine of $119,942.

    • Social Security Act: Under §1128 of the Social Security Act, individuals on the OIG exclusions list aren't allowed to provide products or services to organizations that participate in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs. Conducting a thorough background check can help you avoid hiring someone on the OIG exclusions list. If you do hire someone on the list, your organization may be subject to a $10,000 fine for every product or service provided by the excluded individual.

    • Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH): The HITECH Act made HIPAA's privacy and security provisions even stronger. It also introduced incentives for healthcare organizations to engage in the meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). Failure to meet the requirements for meaningful use results in lower Medicare reimbursement rates, which may hurt your organization's finances.

 

HC Regulations 2

 

Why Is Maintaining Talent Acquisition and Regulatory Compliance Important?

Maintaining a strong connection between talent acquisition and regulatory compliance has several benefits for healthcare organizations. Here are a few examples of how your talent-acquisition strategy can affect healthcare regulatory compliance.

 

Helps You Hire a Reliable, High-Quality Workforce

With the right talent-acquisition strategy, it's possible to attract, hire, and retain highly qualified employees. When staff members have the right knowledge and skills, they provide better care, improving patient satisfaction.

Experienced, knowledgeable employees also understand the importance of following relevant regulations. Therefore, an emphasis on talent acquisition also helps you protect patient privacy.

 

Recommended Reading: How to Automate Your Healthcare Employment Verifications

 

Avoids Hefty Fines and Other Consequences

As noted previously, a single violation may result in a fine of $10,000 or more. If your organization has multiple violations, the financial penalties may exceed $100,000.

A good talent acquisition strategy helps you identify potential hires who understand the rules and know how to comply with them, which may help you avoid hefty fines.

Hiring the right people may also help your organization preserve its positive reputation in the community.

 

Supports Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes

Many industry regulations have a direct impact on patient satisfaction and outcomes. For example, patients don't take too kindly to the unauthorized disclosure of their protected health information.

Taking a strategic approach to talent acquisition increases patient satisfaction by helping you avoid these negative outcomes.

Additionally, high-quality employees tend to provide better patient care, which may lead to lower rates of sepsis, hospital-acquired infections, and other health issues. As a result, changing your approach to talent acquisition may lead to better patient outcomes.

 

HC Regulations 3

 

Common Challenges for Talent Acquisition and Regulatory Compliance in Healthcare 

Healthcare organizations face several challenges as they attempt to maintain a strong connection between regulatory compliance and talent-acquisition activities.

 

Privacy and Confidentiality

Nurses and doctors aren't the only healthcare professionals who deal with sensitive patient data. Registration clerks, medical coders, billing supervisors, and other staff members have access to patient names, addresses, medical record numbers, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive information.

If staff members aren't aware of the rules, or if they don't have the resources to comply with them, your organization may face stiff penalties.

Now that many organizations use digital records, data security is also a major concern. If someone hacks into your systems, your organization could face increased scrutiny from regulators or lawsuits from patients.

For example, after a cyberattack that left Change Healthcare unable to maintain its normal operations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would investigate. HHS wants to know if Change Healthcare was following the HIPAA privacy rule at the time of the attack.

Laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and standards may also lead to unanticipated risks, damaging your organization's reputation.

 

Screen smarter, hire safer. Get the right talent to drive your success. Speak to an expert.

 

Understanding Screening Requirements

It's tough to keep up with the background checks and sanctions checks needed for each type of employee. For example, you may need to perform certain checks for caregivers that you don't need to perform for clerical staff.

Lack of familiarity with the screening requirements may lead to some unanticipated risks, such as hiring someone on the OIG exclusions list or allowing someone with a criminal record to access protected health information.

PreCheck offers comprehensive background screening for healthcare organizations, making it easier to manage these risks. Each check includes everything you need to verify that a potential hire meets your organization's requirements.

 

Credentialing and Staffing Issues 

Every industry has its HR challenges, but healthcare is especially complex, creating some unanticipated risks related to recruitment, onboarding, training, and retention. For example, if you don't conduct a thorough background check, there's a chance you'll hire someone with a history of assault to work with children or elderly patients.

Healthcare credentialing is also an important consideration. Credentialing is the process of confirming that an individual has the education, licenses, and certifications required to obtain a specific job.

If you don't complete every step of the credentialing process, you could end up hiring a doctor who hasn't completed their residency or a nurse who doesn't have an active license, putting your organization at risk of fines, lawsuits, and other negative consequences.

Many healthcare organizations also struggle to maintain safe staffing levels, leading to longer-than-necessary admissions, delays in performing tests and surgical procedures, overcrowded emergency departments, and other problems. Understaffing may even contribute to medical errors, putting patients at risk of serious complications.

 

HC Regulations 4

 

Tips for Maintaining Compliance

Compliance isn't always easy, but it's possible to comply with healthcare regulations without leaving important positions unfilled.

 

1. Stay Up to Date on Laws and Industry Regulations

One of the best ways to maintain compliance is to stay informed about local, state, and federal regulations. If possible, subscribe to several industry publications and read them regularly to learn about new laws or changes to existing laws.

If your organization has in-house counsel, ask if they'd be willing to meet with your HR team once per month. A licensed attorney is an excellent source of information about laws and regulations related to healthcare.

Staying informed helps you understand the screening requirements, eliminating the need to wonder whether you need to conduct a background check on a specific candidate.

 

2. Have a Distinct Recruiting and Screening Process

Recruitment and screening overlap in some ways, but they're two different functions, so you should use different processes for each one. 

Recruiting focuses on identifying potential employees, attracting them to your company, interviewing them, and making hiring decisions. Your recruitment process should focus on these activities.

Screening occurs after you identify a qualified candidate and extend an offer of employment, so the process is completely different. Your screening process should focus on conducting multiple checks to ensure that a potential hire meets your organization's requirements.

One of the biggest reasons to maintain distinct processes is because recruitment and screening require different sets of knowledge and skills. If you keep them separate, you can invest in hiring HR staff with extensive experience reviewing background checks and determining if a potential hire poses any risk.

 

3. Use Secure, Comprehensive Software

To protect patient privacy and avoid data breaches, use comprehensive software with advanced security features. Using secure software can help your organization avoid cyberattacks and other issues that could draw unwanted attention from government agencies and other regulatory bodies.

Secure software also helps protect the privacy of applicants and employees. When you do sanctions and exclusions screening, license verification, and other checks, you must collect personal details from every candidate.

If you don't have secure software in place, PreCheck can handle all of your screening needs. PreCheck gives you access to a single talent platform with best-in-class security features, giving you extra peace of mind.

 

Recommended Reading: Your Must-Have Guide to Healthcare Background Check Compliance

 

Stay Compliant During Your Talent Acquisition Process With the Help of PreCheck

Whether you're a practice manager or a talent acquisition specialist, you can't ignore the importance of a regulatory compliance program in healthcare. Failure to comply with industry rules leaves your organization vulnerable to fines, sanctions, and other penalties.

To reduce organizational risk and enjoy the benefits of increased compliance, partner with PreCheck to streamline your screening process. Speak to an expert to learn more about how our talent platform can help you comply with healthcare regulations without slowing down your hiring process.

 

Screen smarter, hire safer. Get the right talent to drive your success. Speak to an expert.

 

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