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Ambulance compliance challenges and the emergence of Lyft in healthcare

Renee A. Collier (rcollier@zoll.com) is Manager of Customer Onboarding, at ZOLL Data in Broomfield, CO.

Emergency medical services (EMS) agencies are responsible for adhering to a host of compliance policies—from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules, to the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) regulations. With so much riding on EMS providers’ ability to consistently meet requirements, corporate compliance programs are essential to keep staff in step and up to speed. The problem is that many EMS compliance training initiatives heavily focus on billing, leaving the agency vulnerable to issues that can arise elsewhere and directly affect revenue downstream.

Silos among dispatch, patient care, and billing departments often leave EMS agencies working backward to get required information. Although compliance is a responsibility shared by the entire EMS team, beginning the minute an emergency call is answered, gaps exist in corporate compliance programs. EMS field medics, for example, receive clinical training and limited documentation training, but they are seldom involved in compliance training—which results in recurring points of compliance failure. To mitigate this, compliance training programs should be comprehensive, involve the entire EMS team, and focus on known problem areas.

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