Expanding regulations in the healthcare industry require the assistance of a compliance technician in healthcare settings like hospitals, family clinics, and urgent care centers. This positions is easily one of the most important to any company or healthcare provider, since it determines exactly how they'll interpret, understand, and implement laws governing the delivery of patient services, the compliance with Affordable Care Act efficiency standards and oversight roles, adherence to privacy guidelines, adoption of technology, and so much more. The key to efficient healthcare delivery and cost-effective work in the United States, at least in the 21st century, is to create care that exists within state and federal guidelines and drives up positive outcomes while driving down expenses. This commitment is the primarily responsibility of the compliance technician.

HIPAA, ACA, and Other Acronyms: The Language of a Care Compliance Technician

For over a half-century, the federal government has been heavily involved in the delivery of patient care, the privacy of individual patients, and the type of revenue reinvestment that keeps healthcare prices down. Much of these regulations have been passed as part of landmark legislation during the 20th an 21st centuries: Medicare, Medicaid, the HIPAA patient privacy act, and the Affordable Care Act. More incremental improvements have been passed between these major achievements, and states have passed their own, slightly modified version of several federal laws to further protect patients within their borders.

While the broad concepts of these laws are widely known, the more intricate analysis an implementation of their full scope is something that most people pay little attention to. The compliance technician, however, is primarily responsible for reading the law, interpreting what it means for their healthcare employer, and advising implementation of new regulations in a given timeline set by the law as passed.

Educational Requirements for the Aspiring Compliance Technician

Compliance technicians are usually among the most highly educated people in their respective healthcare organizations. Most have at least a bachelor's degree, typically in human resources, healthcare delivery and technology, or healthcare administration. The most qualified candidate for this position have a Master's in Healthcare Administration. Most hospitals will require new hires to take the Certified Compliance Technician examination, offered by the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, in order to be permanently hired in this role. The exam lasts 90 minutes and tests aspiring compliance technicians on their understanding of major government regulations, its implications on healthcare, and the consequences for running afoul of the government's provisions.

With the right combination of an undergraduate degree, a master's degree, and the professional certification necessary to prove a solid understanding of health regulations, those who wish to work in this role will be competitive, highly qualified, and ready to protect their employers from potential fines and other consequences. Ongoing education and professional conferences will keep technicians in the know as new regulations, both state and federal, are passed and applied to their employer.

Related Resource: Public Health Advisor

A Growing Field that Manages Increasing Government Oversight

Compliance technicians are a key position that keeps hospitals safe from fines and other penalties, especially in an era focused on better patient outcomes, higher efficiency, across-the-board cost savings, and higher privacy standards. Those who aspire to become a compliance technician in healthcare should equip themselves with the right education, certifications, and professional experience, to provide this service to their employers efficiently for a long time to come.