Effective management of healthcare compliance in Nebraska involves careful planning and adaptability. As the state’s healthcare regulations are updated, it’s vital for organizations to maintain efficient compliance programs. Healthcare compliance means remaining current with the state’s unique regulatory requirements.
That said, staying on top of your compliance initiatives is a much better place to be than playing catch-up. Surveys can occur spontaneously without much warning, and violations can lead to fines, legal issues, and harm your organization’s accreditation status. Use the resources in this article to guide you through the complexities of Nebraska’s healthcare compliance regulations, so you don’t find yourself behind the game.
Nebraska Healthcare Compliance Resources
Let’s start with the important state government agencies you’ll need to work with:
- The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is a state government agency dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing the health and well-being of all Nebraskans through a range of public health, medical, and social services.
- The Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) represents and advocates for Nebraska’s hospitals and health systems, working to improve healthcare delivery and patient care across the state.
- The Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care within DHHS is responsible for administering Medicaid services and overseeing long-term care programs, ensuring accessible and quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in Nebraska.
- The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Licensing Unit oversees the licensing and regulation of health professionals, including the DIvision of of Medicine and Surgery for physicians, the Division of Nursing, and the Division of Mental Health And Social Work Practice for counseling professionals.
These agencies help maintain the integrity and quality of healthcare services in Nebraska, protecting the public and promoting patient safety. The resources provided by these Nebraska state agencies are essential for promoting public health, ensuring access to healthcare, supporting healthcare professionals, and enhancing overall health outcomes for the residents of Nebraska.
Regulations Unique to Nebraska
To meet the standards of healthcare compliance in Nebraska, there are a few additional regulations.
Certificate of Need Required for Certain Facilities
In Nebraska, the Certificate of Need (CON) law is a key regulation for executives and compliance professionals in healthcare. The law controls the growth of healthcare services, particularly in areas such as rehabilitation and nursing home beds. Healthcare projects, including entering new markets, expanding facilities, or even minor increases to bed counts in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers, require approval from the state. The regulation helps to ensure controlled expansion and fair distribution of services throughout Nebraska.
While the CON law applies to many healthcare settings in the state, it does not apply to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). For these physicians, the path for establishing centers is much easier in Nebraska, compared to other states where a CON does apply to ASCs. For healthcare executives, providers, and compliance professionals, understanding Nebraska’s CON law directly impacts strategic decisions related to facility growth and expansion.
Providers and organizations should know that Medicaid reimbursement policies for telehealth services vary from state to state, and Nebraska is no exception. The state’s policy allows for Medicaid coverage of real-time video, real-time audio only, and remote patient monitoring, however, excludes store-and-forward services. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) allow live video, audio-only, and also excludes store-and-forward. Additionally, Nebraska has membership to an array of interstate licensing compacts, and providers are required to meet the standards of their respective compact prior to providing service. Lastly, Nebraska’s parity law requires payers to reimburse telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services.
Tips To Manage Healthcare Compliance in Nebraska
Effectively managing healthcare compliance in Nebraska 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 Nebraska-approved training.
- Organize Policies By Requirement: Including “NE” 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 Nebraska
For credentialers and healthcare providers in Nebraska, it’s important to be aware of the state’s Controlled Substances Continuing Competency Requirement. This standard applies to all professionals who prescribe controlled substances, including Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs). Providers must complete three hours of continuing education (CE) in opiate prescribing, with .5 of those hours about the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The CE requirement is required not only for license renewal, but to ensure providers know how to confidently navigate the state’s PDMP. Compliance with this requirement is monitored through random audits by licensing divisions within Nebraska DHHS, and selected individuals must submit proof of completed CE hours.
Meet Nebraska 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 Nebraska.
MedTrainer’s all-in-one compliance platform can streamline management of Nebraska 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!