A Case for Contingency Plans in Healthcare

Contingency plans in healthcare

The election is OVER!! Thank goodness – life can continue without the constant blast of political advertising every 45 seconds on every media outlet that exists! While you may not agree with the winner of the election, since the administration is not changing, at least those in the healthcare industry can get on with our plans.

We have some semblance of stability knowing what direction the government will be leaning, The Affordable Care Act will continue to get implemented (in some form). Health Information Exchanges will get rolled out (with or without the states cooperating) and Meaningful Use rules will continue to get implemented. Stage 2 has just been finalized and Stage 3 is starting to get fleshed out with public comments.

Now, the next political battle – the “Fiscal Cliff.” This is going to be messy and most believe that some facets of healthcare will get impacted in some shape or form. We have to be prepared to react, but let’s let it play out.

Freezing and doing nothing “waiting” for an outcome will be more disruptive than keeping your head down and continuing to execute your plans, such as meeting Meaningful Use criteria, continuing with ICD-10 preparation or getting ready for ACO’s. These initiatives are just too big to constantly start and stop based on the way the political winds are blowing.

You need to think about contingency plans in case things don’t play out in a certain way, but don’t use the turmoil to stop. It will cost you in the long run.

Speaking of contingency plans – two words – Superstorm Sandy. How many organizations were caught without a solid disaster recovery plan? How many others had their bacon saved with offsite storage for their electronic data? Those with paper records that wished they didn’t? Climate change is here to stay; don’t think it can’t happen to you.

Let us all learn from this cautionary tale, those HIPAA regulations actually serve a purpose, stop ignoring them (please :-)).