Healthcare providers are facing a tumultuous time ahead, especially with healthcare reform and patient privacy laws on the verge of going into full effect.
In compliance with the Affordable Care Act, agencies with 50 or more full-time employees are required to offer minimum benefits. This has posed a number of challenges for providers, many of which affect human resource departments directly, including:
- Making already complicated accounts payable processes even more complex. The calculations for categorizing someone as either a salaried or hourly worker has changed considerably.
- Hiring new employees will become more complicated.
- Regulatory compliance, already one of the biggest concerns for healthcare professionals, is now more difficult. The frequency of audit requests is expected to rise, too.
All of these tasks have proven to be time-consuming - and at times, painfully agonizing - processes for HR professionals, mainly because a lot of related documents are filed manually. Meanwhile, a survey from SHL indicated that the the majority of healthcare HR workers don't believe their departments are ready to handle the inevitable influx in employee-related data.
"HR is still grappling with its ability to provide strategic data to the business on its workforce and is ill-equipped right now to take advantage of big data," Ken Lahti, vice president of product development and innovation at SHL. "They do not yet have the systems and tools required to identify people intelligence, create metrics and link HR data sources together."
For HR departments, the right tools likely include paperless document management, which will enable them to streamline all of their complex processes into a single unified database. This has worked wonders for the HR team at Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS), a nonprofit health and human services organization based in San Antonio, Texas.
"We don't get the bulk of paperwork like we used to," said Cynthia Price, a member of the accounts payable department at BCFS. "We don't get hundreds of loose papers stapled, getting caught to the paper clips."
According to a study from XpertHR and emedia, more than three-quarters of healthcare HR workers anticipate increases in employer healthcare costs because of the Affordable Care Act, JD Supra Law News reported. For Price and BCFS - which has more than 700 employees located in 14 branches worldwide - complying with these new requirements will not be easy.
But with the help of its recently implemented paperless system, handling AP processes has become a lot more manageable. Price said that from a personal standpoint, it's saved her time by making it "easier to find exactly what I need."