Protecting your practice from expanding legal and financial risks from non-compliance with government regulations is a challenge for leadership of a medical practice. To reduce the risks, practice’s often implement a formal compliance program built around the seven elements outlined by the Office of the Inspector General. However, simply having a compliance program is not enough.
If you have adopted a compliance program, the end of the year is a great time to conduct a review of the effectiveness of the program by either practice staff or an outside firm. While far from a comprehensive plan, allow us to identify a few first steps. Begin with a review of the existing policies and procedures: do they reflect current practices and regulations? Then consider internal monitoring: has the practice documented the performance and outcomes of internal reviews (i.e., corrective plan of action)? It has been our experience that it is not uncommon for practices to fail to document completion of internal and external audits as called for in their own compliance policies. A major element of an effective compliance program is physician and staff education: has the practice completed and documented annual training which addresses key compliance issues (i.e., Stark Laws, False Claims Act, HIPAA, OSHA)? Since the purpose of the review is to identify opportunities to address gaps in the compliance program, you need to reinforce the need for open and honest communication with everyone involved in the review.
At Medical Management Associates, we combine extensive knowledge and resources to complete an effectiveness review – and compliance auditing and training activities – for any practice.
For more information, contact our office at 770-951-8427.