Managing Healthcare Compliance in Arkansas

Sarah Jones
Outline of Arkansas over healthcare photo

Navigating healthcare compliance in Arkansas, “The Natural State,” is a delicate dance, blending strict state-specific regulations with top-notch, ethical patient care. For healthcare professionals in Arkansas, it’s a balancing act: ensuring patient health while skillfully sidestepping the pitfalls of non-compliance.

Mastering healthcare compliance in Arkansas doesn’t come naturally — pun intended — without significant effort. It calls for a deep dive into regulatory knowledge and a keen eye for adapting policies to the ever-shifting regulatory landscape. Read on for tips that executives, compliance officers, credentialing teams, and providers can use for managing healthcare compliance in the state of Arkansas.

Arkansas Healthcare Compliance Resources

Let’s start with the important state government agencies you’ll need to work with:

  • The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is a state government agency responsible for public health matters in Arkansas, focusing on promoting, protecting, and improving the health and well-being of its residents.
  • The Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA) is a statewide organization dedicated to supporting hospitals and health systems in Arkansas through advocacy, education, and initiatives aimed at improving healthcare quality and accessibility.
  • The Arkansas Division of Medical Services is a government division responsible for overseeing and administering Medicaid and other health-related programs in the state of Arkansas, ensuring access to quality healthcare for eligible residents.
  • The Arkansas State Medical Board is a regulatory body that licenses and oversees medical professionals in Arkansas, ensuring adherence to professional standards and ethical practices in healthcare.
  • The Arkansas State Board of Examiners in Counseling is a regulatory authority responsible for the licensure and monitoring of professional counselors and therapists in Arkansas, ensuring they meet the required educational, ethical, and professional standards.

These agencies help maintain the integrity and quality of healthcare services in Arkansas, protecting the public and promoting patient safety. The resources provided by these Arkansas state agencies are essential for promoting public health, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting healthcare professionals, and enhancing overall health outcomes for the residents of Arkansas.

Regulations Unique to Arkansas

To meet the standards of healthcare compliance in Arkansas, there are a few additional regulations. For example, certain health care facilities must follow the Permit of Approval process, while others do not, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Permit of Approval Required

Arkansas’ Permit of Approval (POA) program requires certain healthcare providers to obtain state approval before constructing new facilities, expansions, or introducing major new services or equipment. The POA rules only apply to certain healthcare settings, including nursing facilities, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, home health and hospice agencies, psychiatric residential care facilities, and intermediate care facilities for the intellectually disabled. Unlike many states that have Permit of Approval regulations (also called a Certificate of Need), Arkansas’ POA rules do not apply to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). As a result, ASCs in Arkansas have more freedom and opportunity to expand, leading to an increased rate of ASCs per capita, compared to other states. For facilities that do need to obtain a POA before expanding, the Arkansas Health Services Permit Agency (AHSPA) within the Arkansas Department of Health oversees the process.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Requirements

The Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (AR PDMP) is a vital resource for healthcare providers, aimed at curbing prescription drug misuse and enhancing patient safety. This state-mandated program involves tracking controlled substance prescriptions through a comprehensive database, where providers can view patient prescription histories. The program empowers providers to make informed prescribing decisions, reducing the risk of overprescribing and drug abuse. For compliance professionals, building policies that follow the AR PDMP rules is essential for ensuring adherence to Arkansas’ state regulations on controlled substances.

Tips To Manage Healthcare Compliance in Arkansas

Effectively managing healthcare compliance in Arkansas is a critical responsibility for healthcare organizations, as it ensures the delivery of high-quality care while adhering to legal and regulatory requirements. Here are some key strategies to help healthcare organizations manage compliance effectively:

  • Conduct State-Specific Training: Provide ongoing training and education to staff that is customized to your state’s regulations as well as your facility. If using a learning management system, ensure the vendor offers Arkansas-approved training.
  • Organize Policies By Requirement: Including “AR” in every document that is required by the state will make it much easier for you to find these documents in an online system when a surveyor is onsite. It is also best practice to include the standard you are meeting for additional clarity.
  • Establish a System for Monitoring Risk: Being able to identify compliance risks before they become incidents or violations can save the entire organization time and money. Identifying trends and consistently reviewing reports can signal issues, such as training not being completed or a large number of incidents in one location.
  • Use Compliance Management Software: Accreditation surveyors say organizations that use compliance software are more prepared for onsite visits and surveys. The software helps to keep documents and policies organized, ensures training content is up to date, and makes reporting easy.

By implementing these strategies and fostering a culture of compliance within your healthcare organization, you can effectively manage healthcare compliance, reduce risks, and provide the best possible care to your patients while staying within legal boundaries.

Credentialing Compliance in Arkansas

One unique aspect of the medical credentialing process in Arkansas is its integration with the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (AR PDMP). Healthcare providers in Arkansas, as part of their credentialing process, are required to register with the PDMP. This requirement helps to combat the opioid epidemic by monitoring prescription patterns and adds an additional layer of accountability and oversight in the credentialing process. By linking credentialing with the PDMP, Arkansas takes a proactive stance in ensuring that healthcare providers are not only qualified but also responsible in their prescribing practices.

Meet Arkansas Compliance Requirements With MedTrainer 

While the path may be complex, healthcare providers who prioritize compliance will not only avoid legal troubles but also enhance the quality of care they provide to their patients in Arkansas

MedTrainer’s all-in-one compliance platform can streamline management of Arkansas healthcare compliance. MedTrainer seamlessly consolidates your organization’s policies, incident reports, safety plans, HR documents, contracts, and more. This centralized repository ensures all employees have easy access to essential information. The course library is curated to align with regulatory and accreditation requirements, and courses are regularly added and updated to ensure the most current information. Learn more about MedTrainer today!