The U.S. healthcare industry is facing a number of critical and transformational questions:
- How do we maintain and increase profit margins in the face of declining reimbursements?
- How do we keep pace with new regulatory compliance requirements and new risks?
- How do we improve IT system integration and connectivity inside and outside the company?
- How do we identify acquisition targets that augment our capabilities and support our strategic objectives?
The answers inevitably create new questions, and big challenges, for internal audit functions in healthcare organizations, which must ensure that new structures, processes, partners, data and IT systems are harmonious with organizational risk appetites.
The results of the 2014 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey of Healthcare Provider Organizations from AHIA and Protiviti present a portrait of a healthcare internal audit function that is intent on delivering assurance across multiple risk realms while simultaneously enhancing the efficiency and quality of their heavy workloads.
Our results indicate that healthcare internal audit functions are concentrating their attention and resources in four key areas of priority, which we discuss further in our report:
1. Mastering regulatory risk and cost containment
2. Strengthening information security and risk management
3. Introducing more auditing automation and greater effectiveness
4. Partnering and persuading