The Affordable Care Act and YORN - Real Time Feedback

You Can Have Your Voice Heard on the Spot

Getty Images

New Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines are kicking in for the areas of Quality, Compliance, and Ethics. The ACA Compliance and Ethics Program requires organizations to have established compliance standards and procedures to be followed by its employees and other agents that are reasonably capable of reducing the prospect of criminal, civil, and administrative violations. One way to address this is by beefing up your feedback mechanisms from patients and family caregivers.

An innovative technology called YORN can help.

What Are the Mandates?

  • Specific individuals within high-level personnel of the organization must be assigned overall responsibility to oversee compliance with such standards and procedures.
  • The organization must take steps to communicate effectively its standards and procedures to all employees and other agents.
  • After an offense has been detected, the organization must have taken all reasonable steps to respond appropriately to the offense and to prevent further similar offenses.
  • The organization must take reasonable steps to achieve compliance with its standards, such as utilizing monitoring and auditing systems reasonably designed to detect criminal, civil, and administrative violations by its employees and other agents and by having in place and publicizing a reporting system whereby employees and other agents could report violations by others within the organization without fear of retribution.


    ACA (section 6102)  also requires HHS to establish and implement a quality assurance and performance improvement program (“QAPI program”) for facilities, including chains of facilities.

    Essentially there are two issues at play here. A need to put in place processes to reduce civil complaints and lawsuits and a need to have an effective QAPI program that includes feedback mechanisms that incorporate families and patients and aids in the identification of problems and subsequent root cause analysis of the same.


    The heart of each of these issues is timely and useful feedback and communication with families, patients, and residents. It has been proven that effective communication can decrease litigation tendencies and it is a no-brainer to see how effective feedback and timely action around it improves quality care.

    YORN is a Cloud-based service enabling real-time feedback from residents, patients, families, patient advocates and care team members directly from wherever they are at, via their own mobile devices. It's not a survey tool and unlike surveys that focus on the past, YORN operates in the present to facilitate continuous quality improvement. YORN delivers actionable information permitting prescriptive intervention prior to issues escalating and presents executive dashboards for departmental and system-wide views reflecting overall operating status through the eyes of your consumers.  

    YORN requires no downloads or authentication. Prompts are pushed to mobile devices via the phone numbers or email addresses on file.

    URL-based interfaces allow for inviting people, simple and concise replies to questions and free text inputs – all from a single, large font presentation screen. Interfaced with your HIT systems, self-identified and anonymous replies are supported in an HIPAA/CMS-compliant environment that is a closed network within your health system reducing and in many cases eliminating negative comments on social media.

    Think of it this way. Just as someone might be thinking of tweeting their frustration or praise to the world via Twitter, they will first come to you in a closed network where you can act upon concerns immediately.

    YORN is proven to achieve 70-89% engagement levels. YORN enhances patient/resident experience, exposes risk, pinpoints negative and favorable trends, and optimizes key components of revenue. The return on investment for YORN is significant – 300-475% on average for those facilities where we have gathered information.

    YORN positively impacts patient/ACO-member experience and care. It enables immediate pinpoint intervention in areas presenting a risk to the organization and sets up the organization for more favorable impressions and replies during formal surveys. YORN replies assists in increasing the HCAHPS component of reimbursement, decreasing costly self-discharges against medical advice and softening litigious tendencies. 

    Using YORN in a free standing residence is certainly valuable. However, if you want to be on the same playing field as hospitals and become their provider of choice in an accountable care organization, then using YORN now to comply with ACA/HHS requirements will set you up for partnering success later. Find out more. ​

    Continue Reading