OIG Speaks to HCCA Compliance Institute

Daniel Levinson, the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, kicked off the annual Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) Compliance Institute in Orlando Florida this morning.  Nearly all of the 3,000 conference attendees, a new record for the compliance institute, were in attendance.

IG Levinson announced the publication of a revised guide to assist health care boards exercise oversight of a company’s compliance program, entitled New Practical Guide for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight.  The guide will be posted later today on the IG’s Compliance 101 website.  [https://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/101/]

Although the IG did not detail the changes in this version of the guide, previous versions have been extremely helpful in educating Boards on their fiduciary duty of care toward an organization, particularly what they should know about their organization’s compliance program.

The IG also noted the 50th anniversary of the passage of Medicare, and the recent passage of the “doc fix” legislation.  He said that although the doc fix section of the bill has gotten the most attention, he noted that there are a number of program integrity provisions in the bill that compliance professionals should be aware of, such as a revised documentation requirement for DME items.

The IG applauded the group of compliance professionals, calling them “knowledge workers,” coining a phrase from Peter Drucker’s 1959 book entitled The Landmarks of Tomorrow.  He noted how important it is to endow data with relevance and purpose to create useful and productive information.  He also noted that knowledge workers want to be engaged in their work and perform meaningful work, suggesting that everybody attending the conference shares those goals.

The IG concluded his remarks by discussing an article published in the Report on Medicare Compliance in December of last year, emphasizing the importance of social and leadership skills for a compliance officer.  He said that these skills are as vital to a compliance officer’s effectiveness as their technical savvy.  He noted that compliance officers need to be able to connect with employees and work across disciplines to promote the overall health of their enterprise.

Today’s post was contributed by Steve Lokensgard and Ike Willett.

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