Like most entrepreneurs, when I hear the words “government regulation” attached to a startup idea, my first reaction is negative. Traditionally, customers buy products and services that either generate new revenue or reduce existing costs. But in healthcare, they also buy products and services that help them meet certain government regulations. In healthcare, government regulation can breed opportunity.
For many sectors of healthcare, the government requires providers and/or payers to do something they may not normally do. For each of these requirements, the stakeholder will need a solution in order to meet that requirement. Here are a few examples in healthcare (just to name a few):
- The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) requiring provider’s to have various levels of EMR implementation (with incentives and penalties depending on your status)
- The ONC requirement for providers to share medical records with an health information exchange (HIE)
- Joint Commission requirements for providers to know population statistics, track patient safety metrics, etc…
- Medicare and other payer requirements to maintain certain re-admission rates as a provider (which requires structured data and software to know where you stand and track cases)
- Cardiovascular (and other disease) programs must report various conditions and procedures to national registries
Many businesses have been created (or accelerated) that offer solutions to meet the above requirements. Generally speaking, the best solution over time is from a company that makes that solution their core competency (as opposed to each hospital building their own solution, for instance).
So, if you’re looking for a startup opportunity to tackle in healthcare, it may be worth your time to research the (many) government regulations that are out there.