Designate a compliance officer or contact that will assist you with building an effective compliance program.
In the last few tips, we have been discussing the 7 Elements of an Effective Compliance Program, in which designating a compliance officer or contact is another element that should be considered.
As recommended by the OIG, each healthcare entity should:
Hire a compliance officer;
Split tasks among employees;
Designate one person from the practice to correspond with an outsourced compliance officer or consultant.
The OIG acknowledges that practices may not have the funds to hire a compliance officer or consultant, which is why they suggest utilizing current employees to build an effective program.
As you are designating a compliance officer or an employee, make sure they are knowledgeable in several areas, such as business administration, clinical practices, coding, billing, reimbursement, and more.
Also, you should be very active in the process and continuously monitor your compliance program. This is a critical step where we have seen practices fail because there is no monitoring system in place.
At the end of the day, if your compliance officer or employee does not play their role in compliance, you will still be responsible per the government.
Last, use the OIG suggestions regarding split tasks, research how you want your team structured, review employee feedback, and take or assign compliance courses to increase your knowledge.
Your goal is to build a compliance team, where everyone works together to protect the practice, rather than suffering from burnout completing it alone.