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Risk Assessment for Health Care Organizations

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The HITECH Act was enforced by Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Health Information Technology. The act is the part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Council of Economic Advisors USA, 2010). The act has financial incentives and penalties aimed at ensuring health care providers demonstrate meaningful usage of electronic health record (EHR). Some of the penalties imposed by the program include the increase in legal liability to the health care providers. A Grant fraud is punishable by law and breaching of the act can lead to a fine of $25,000 (Caroline, 2010).

Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)

The enactment was made by Health and Human Services (HHS) Office – Centers for Medical Services (CMS). EMTALA Act is part of COBRA Laws that began in 1986. The law is aimed at eliminating “dumping” of uninsured patients from one health provider to another. The act is also meant to help and protect patients as they get access to Medicare. Hospitals that violate the provisions of the act face being locked out of Medicare funding from the federal government. Therefore, every health institution is faced with the challenge of meeting the acts requirements as provided under the health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; the act requires health providers to prove their capacity to securely store patient information from unauthorized access. The act empowers the government to delegate authority to the criminal investigation department to examine questionable care provider institutions and in case of any violation, sanctions and stiff penalties apply. Further, civil and criminal penalties may apply depending on the amount of evidence consolidated to support breach of business ethics and regulations (Caroline, 2010). Therefore, every health care provide ought to formulate a dependable security policy among the employee and suppliers to avoid sharing of private and confidential information. Moreover, the act recognizes the patient’s right to information and thus a client’s consent is mandatory before sharing and transmission of any information can take place legally (Caroline, 2010).

Dumping of patients, a term referring to the act of health care providers approving transfer of patients from one health care provider to another thus denying patient the right to get health care services they pay for is unethical and punishable. The main risks health care professionals face today is attending to torts files by government agencies through complains received from unsatisfied customers. Negligence is the second risk that health care facilities face resulting in hefty penalties as interpreted under the law. In determining whether negligence has been committed, foreseeability of the harm to result from the negligence has to be established. Another form of negligence is abandonment which is described as termination of the patient’s care without their consent (Caroline, 2010).

The law provides that if a patient can prove a proximate cause, if the relationship between a cause and effect relate to breach of duty by the health care personnel can be evidenced, the provider could face legal liability (Caroline, 2010). However, the patient has to prove that the low standard of health care products and services caused poor health conditions. The Recovery Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act) was meant to improve the way health information technology is used to handle reality datasets of lives information (Council of Economic Advisors, 2005).

National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984

This enactment was enforced by Health and Human Services (HHS) Office-Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) earlier in 2005 (Wass, 2005).The act outlaws the sale of human organs, and supports financially the operation of Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. The act has undergone several amendments since its inception (Wass, 2005). In addition, the program proposed the establishment of Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. The penalties associated with violation of this act include fines of up to $50,000 and/or five years of imprisonment (Wass, 2005).

As a precaution, pre-death consent is needed before organs are donated. Physicians and health professionals who breach the law by helping patients to by-pass the requirement may face legal liability for contravention of legal ethics. However, one exception applies; that if the organ donor is a close relative, the precaution process maybe ignored since family members may wish to alleviate their sense of loss whenever an emergence situation arise (Wass, 2005). Once the potential organ donor is identified, the family members are contacted and the family is given an opportunity to donate the organs (United States General Accounting Office, 2004).

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