Case Study: WNC Birth Center

After investing much of her career in improving the health of women and children throughout WNC, Judy Major, along with a strong team of other birth professionals, embarked on plans to open the WNC Birth Center (WNCBC).  After six years of planning, the WNCBC opened in July of 2016, making it the first nationally accredited non-profit birth center in Asheville and the surrounding region. The WNC Birth Center provides state of the art maternity and well-woman health services following evidence-based practices and the midwifery model of care. They offer pregnant women and their families a compassionate, cost-effective, and safe alternative to hospital birth in a relaxing, home-like setting. 

 

 

“Opening Western North Carolina's first, free-standing, nurse-midwife-staffed, center for birth and women's healthcare has been a long journey with countless hurdles along the way. However, long before we opened our doors, our board of directors followed the advice of trusted friends and contracted with Epsilon to help with our IT needs. We've been beyond pleased with their 24/7 support. Epsilon staff are extremely knowledgeable and infinitely patient with "IT ingenues" like us. They've been indispensable when it comes to navigating the complex HIPAA security requirements mandated of all healthcare providers."  Judy Major, MPH, Founder WNC Birth Center

Amongst all the various items needed to open a birth center, technology and HIPPA compliance was a big piece to navigate.  Birth centers are required to maintain the same health licenses, credentials, and HIPPA compliance requirements as large scale hospitals.  These requirements can be costly to implement and maintain for a new operation, especially when funding is tight for a new business like the WNCBC. Small businesses and nonprofits often face financial penalties and loss of Medicaid reimbursements for violating HIPAA rules because they lack the IT infrastructure and budget to maintain compliance.

To assist the WNCBC in navigating their IT infrastructure and HIPPA compliance needs, Epsilon created a step-by-step IT infrastructure and HIPAA plan for Judy and her colleagues, along with a realistic timeline and budget.  Our team provided high level consulting for the Center’s Planning Board and came up with a plan that included:

  • Basic IT infrastructure to allow for their initial compliance, while also laying the foundation for them to grow and expand their IT as their needs and budget allow.
  • Recommendations on cost saving strategies. For example, Epsilon was able to leverage not-for-profit pricing from Microsoft and their Office 365 platform of products to reduce software and licensing costs, saving them an estimated $3,000 in initial and annual recurring costs.

Starting a new business is tough and navigating the technology and compliance requirements of the healthcare industry is even tougher.  Epsilon was with Judy and her team every step of the way by providing guidance and support, ultimately enabling the WNCBC planning team to be free from the worries of compliance and to focus its efforts elsewhere in the development of the birth center.     

“Thanks for all your help. The staff and I absolutely love Epsilon. You have made all the difference in the world for us to feel supported as we launched what was an overwhelming project.” Nancy Koerber, Executive Director

To learn more about WNC Birth Center, visit: https://wncbirthcenter.com

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