A corporate compliance program is a set of systematic procedures instituted by an organization to ensure that the provisions of the regulations imposed by the government agency responsible for over site of the entity are being met.
Hospice has many existing regulations and many more are being imposed each year by the government who is concerned about the rapid growth of the Medicare budget in this area. Beside government auditors there are RAC (recovery act contractors) and employees being incentivized to report suspected as well as actual fraudulent activities. It is no longer whether an audit will be made on your agency but rather when.
A corporate compliance program is really the only way to protect yourself. Compliance is more important than ever, given the government’s growing issues about hospices. If you haven’t been concerned about it before, you really have to be concerned about it now. These issues are extremely expensive and disruptive.
What would your staff say if they were randomly asked the following questions?
- Do you have a compliance plan?
- Who’s your compliance officer?
- When was the last time you received compliance training?
What can hospice providers do to protect themselves – or at least minimize their exposure? There are two keys to a preventive strategy.
- First is an aggressive, robust, sufficiently resourced corporate compliance program
- Second is careful attention to human resources policies and practices, to ensure as much as possible that an employee’s report of agency practices not in compliance with Medicare regulations is taken very seriously and keep whistleblowers within the agency’s compliance policies and processes, reporting problems to you. Every hospice needs a solid process for investigating compliance reports. Give your employees a workable mechanism for reporting their concerns.
HospiceServe can help with resources to lower your risk. Contact us today to discuss compliance planning.