The deadline to comply with the HIPAA transaction regulations has been delayed for a year, until October 2003. That's good news for medical practices, which can use the extra time to meet the standards, according to a recent survey by Phoenix Health Systems, in conjunction with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
Apparently physician practices are not alone, as 7% of payers and 16% of healthcare information technology vendors indicated that they would not meet the earlier deadline of October 2002. The survey took place last October, before Congress voted for the 12-month extension.
Many small practices remain confused about how to formulate a HIPAA plan, as nearly a quarter of them are not sure when they might complete their compliance assessments. Meanwhile, larger practices--those with 30 or more physicians--cite budgetary concerns as the No. 1 barrier to compliance.
Still, almost half of all practices surveyed expect to incorporate their HIPAA compliance activities into their strategic plans in order to reach the 1996 law's goal of administrative simplification.
See publication for the following charts/tables: Approach to HIPAA compliance, 2001; Heaving a sigh of relief about HIPAA; Estimated time to complete HIPAA assessment; Readiness to handle HIPAA-compliant transactions; Roadblocks to HIPAA compliance; Large group practices' HIPAA spending