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Jumpstart Your Compliance Program

The beginning of the New Year is a popular time for new initiatives. Many healthcare organizations are looking for ways to improve quality and reduce risk. A compliance program is an effective way to detect, deter and prevent wrongdoing in the healthcare setting and an ongoing system assures conformity with governing laws and regulations. An

Is Your Compliance Program Effective?

Having a compliance program in place is a start but having an effective compliance program is the goal. Proactively assessing the effectiveness of one’s own compliance program is better than the Department of Justice making a determination of the adequacy as a result of an investigation for alleged misconduct. To set benchmarks for an effective

Deadline for Breach Reporting Coming Soon

As the end of the year approaches, keep in mind that all breaches of unsecured protected health information involving less than 500 individuals must be reported to the Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 60 days of the end of the calendar year. If the organization already reported a breach

Beware of Individual Liability: Yates Memo

On September 9, 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates released a policy memorandum, titled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” also known as the “Yates Memo.” To read the full contents of the Yates Memo, click here. Essentially, the Yates Memo shifts the DOJ’s approach to fighting corporate fraud and misconduct

OIG WORKPLAN 2016

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for protecting the integrity of the programs in Health and Human Services against fraud, waste and abuse as well as recommending improvements to the system that would promote efficiency and efficacy within the limits of the health care laws.   Although OIG oversight includes programs such as

Overview of a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA)

Health care fraud recoveries for fiscal years 2009- 2014 exceeded previous records with five straight years of more than $2 billion in annual recovery from cases involving fraud and false claims against federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.  Most healthcare providers are aware of significant civil liability due to recent enforcement. However,

Are You Prepared for the HIPAA Phase 2 Audits?

After reviewing the HIPAA Privacy case investigations from 2009-2011, the Office of the Inspector General sent a strong message to the Office of Civil Rights in regard to the administration and enforcement of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The OIG recommendation is clear in the September 2015 executive summary, “OCR Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Covered

Billing Care Plan Oversight Risks

Care Plan Oversight describes the physician or other healthcare professional’s supervision of patients in hospice, nursing facilities or those receiving care through home health agencies. CPO reimbursement covers initial certification, any re-certifications and care plan supervision. However, only physicians can bill for initial certification and re-certification and only one physician can bill per month. The

Complying with Stark Law: Can you bill Medicare when treating your family members?

The treatment of family members falls under General Exclusions from Coverage under Medicare. No payment will be made for items or services for a family member when the charge is from an immediately related provider, any of their associates or their professional corporations. As part of Stark I in 1989, self-referrals for clinical laboratory services

How would your staff react to an auditor or investigator?

Audits and investigations are stressful events either with or without prior notice. Medical staff should be prepared for an unannounced visit. First Healthcare Compliance provides a sample policy that assists clients in preparing the front office. Here are some recommendations to ensure that proper steps are taken: Immediately contact your supervisor, manager and/or Compliance Officer