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Cures Act - How will it affect you?

As of December 1st, 2016, the Cures Act passed in the US House, and will likely pass with no issue to be signed into law by the President. The 996 page bill covers quite a few things - from FDA regulatory adjustments to increased funding to neurological studies - including changes in how companies in the Medical industry must interact.


The biggest change that will affect you may just be something completely unexpected - alterations necessary for handling of PHI. The new bill stipulates new requirements on the systems used to store PHI and other medical records, specifically, how that data is shared between your company's chosen PHI management system and all others. Services like One Medical Passport, AdvantX, and Amkai may need major software revisions to comply with the new law, and as a result - there’s likely to be increased strain on IT departments to facilitate these upgrades and training of your staff.


Further, the bill requires that patients are able to easily access their medical records - all in one place. We recommend you prepare an increased allotment for employee training, and perhaps a raise in the IT budget for subscriptions to new software licenses that will make this possible. EMR’s, being businesses themselves, won’t want to take responsibility for enforcing all of these new services, and will likely push it on to you whenever possible.


This isn’t all bad news, however.


The IT industry has long seen a need for this interoperability and security change, and patients (even yourself) are very likely to see a marked increase in their doctors’ and specialists’ efficiency to resolve problems based on historical data that they couldn’t easily access before.


The hard takeaways are these:


  1. Expect a need to boost training budget.

  2. Expect a need to boost IT budget.

  3. It is more important than ever to have an IT team that not only keeps up to date on technology advances, but also changes in legal regulations and best practices for your industry. Make sure you are properly staffed.