In case you missed it, we held our first (virtual) Client Summit on Wednesday, June 23, during which we covered important compliance and regulatory updates, provided a glimpse into our newest product innovations and roadmap, offered learnings from our partners and peers, and highlighted data and monitoring trends and insights. If you weren’t able to make it, we’ve got you covered – check out Part 1 of our recap of the event. And read on for Part 2 of our recap!
Client Spotlight: A Conversation with Ochsner Health
Introduction to Ochsner
One of ProviderTrust’s partners, Dylan Thriffiley, Vice President and Compliance Officer at Ochsner Health joined us to discuss connecting Human Resources and Compliance and how ProviderTrust fits into the equation. Ochsner is a rapidly growing health system based in New Orleans that recently announced plans to merge with Rush Health. Dylan has been with Ochsner for six years with a myriad of compliance responsibilities under her purview including exclusion monitoring and sanction screening. Shortly after joining Ochsner, Dylan realized their current compliance monitoring vendor wasn’t cutting it. A simple Google search led her to ProviderTrust and the rest is history. For the last five and a half years, Ochsner has partnered with ProviderTrust to monitor their employees, physicians, providers, and vendors.
Connecting HR & Compliance
Ochsner’s HR and Compliance structure is unique. Two and a half years ago, the role of Chief Risk and HR Officer was created to oversee the Compliance and Privacy, HR, Legal, Cybersecurity, Physical Security, Emergency Management, and other risk management departments. Dylan’s Compliance Team works closely with HR almost daily, so having both departments report to the same leader has helped their teams enormously.
According to Dylan, the keys to success when it comes to aligning Compliance and HR departments include:
- Getting to know each other on a personal level to establish a foundation for a working relationship, which has become more difficult in a virtual world.
- Assuming positive intent.
- Establishing the appropriate boundaries and ensuring the proper division of responsibilities.
- Communicating consistently and openly, especially in new or ambiguous situations.
Dylan also noted that automation of specific reports (e.g., the compliance hotline call status weekly report) has been vital to make sure both teams are always on the same page. The teams worked together to establish the appropriate escalation paths, especially as the Compliance department is much more centralized than the HR department. It took diligence and time, but the departments created escalation paths that include who was going to escalate what and when as well as why. An example is when Compliance receives a confirmed exclusion match that needs to be further investigated, they know exactly who they need to contact and the specific information they need to provide.
Ochsner's Successful Partnership with ProviderTrust
In early 2016, Ochsner implemented the Passport application for exclusion monitoring and sanction screening as well as the VendorProof application for vendor onboarding and monitoring. Dylan noted that the biggest selling points of ProviderTrust’s platform were the ability to remove manual intervention; create customized user profiles, dashboard views, and reporting; and the automated and non-automated notifications/alerts. With the previous vendor, manual intervention was necessary, which required anywhere from one-half to three-fourths of a full-time employee. Dylan recognized this challenge, realizing it was untenable for her team to do the amount of manual work required.
With the VendorProof application, Dylan noted that her team has been working to engage Ochsner’s vendors. Throughout the process, Ochsner has discovered several opportunities around maintaining vendor data and identifying who their vendors are. Working within VendorProof has not only allowed Ochsner to track, trend, and monitor their vendors, but also to identify areas for improvement. Along the way, Dylan’s team has strengthened their relationships with other departments including Accounts Payable, Supply Chain, and Contracting and Purchasing.
To close out the session, Dylan noted that the most valuable components of the ProviderTrust platform include:
- Customizable at-a-glance reporting that can be pulled ad-hoc, which provides insight and transparency into Ochsner’s internal processes.
- Instant notifications and phone calls related to exclusions and sanctions.
- Documentation and data that can easily be shared with HR.
- An ongoing feedback loop between ProviderTrust and Ochsner about product innovations and changes.
- Compliance expertise and support that’s only a phone call away.
Interested in insights from another ProviderTrust partner?
Data & Monitoring Insights: Q&A with Our Monitoring Operations Leader
During our last session, Dave Servodidio, the host of the Client Summit and the Director of Marketing sat down with Chris Lynn, our Monitoring Operations Leader to gain insight on what Chris’ team is working on to enhance our smarter compliance monitoring platform.
Dave: Tell us a little bit about you and your team and the work you do on an ongoing basis.
Chris: I’ve been with ProviderTrust since October 2015 and my background is mostly in data analytics, operations, and client success. Regarding our Data and Monitoring Team, we oversee the delivery of our monitoring and verification results. Our responsibilities include:
- Interacting with the primary sources on a daily basis.
- Focusing on the data and figuring out how to navigate changes, like the recent updates to the SAM.gov website with the goal of ensuring minimal impact to our clients.
- Communicating and collaborating with different teams across ProviderTrust, including the Client Success Team to provide timely and appropriate documentation for our clients.
- Working closely with Sales and Marketing to tell the ProviderTrust story and cultivate knowledge since we are the subject matter experts on the primary sources for exclusions, sanctions, and license verifications.
- Forming relationships with the individuals at the primary sources.
- Advocating for process improvements with our Product Managers based on how our clients interact with our data with the ultimate goal of making our data easier to understand in our products.
Dave: Thanks for sharing that insight. What happens when a primary source changes and what do we do about it? For example, SAM.gov recently overhauled its website.
Chris: About a month ago SAM.gov rolled out a brand new user interface and a reorganization of the site. As the rollout date was approaching, it was vital that our team understood where and how to access the data that we download from the site. We also needed to understand if the format of the data was changing in any way and if there were any restrictions regarding accessing the data. Although it was initially difficult to access the SAM.gov documentation on the changes, once we were able, the process to update our own documentation was fairly straightforward.
Need help navigating the new SAM.gov site?
Dave: Switching gears a little bit, during the first session today, Donna mentioned the OIG’s 2021 priorities. One of those is the OIG’s plan to modernize its List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE), the OIG’s primary dataset. What does that priority mean to your team?
Chris: The LEIE data is the gold standard of exclusion data, as it provides a complete picture and is a relatively easy dataset to integrate into our product. In terms of the efforts to modernize, the following thoughts come to mind:
- With the delivery of exclusion data, we may have opportunities to migrate away from a flat CSV file that only updates once a month to a more efficient way of consuming that data.
- There may be more frequent updates to the data, including the possibility of real-time updates.
- We may have the ability to integrate with other OIG publications that could provide additional value to our clients.
- Modernizing the LEIE could provide us with the chance to collaborate with the OIG. For example, we sometimes find errors in the data using our data enrichment strategy. Having a more efficient mechanism to share the errors we find as well as additional insights would be extremely valuable.
Dave: Primary source licensing boards are extremely nuanced in terms of the data they provide as well as how often that data is updated. Could you provide an example of a recent issue that your team faced with a state board and how you were able to rectify the issue to ensure proper license verification for our clients?
Chris: We are continually navigating these issues. As we expand and enhance our offering, we continue to diversify our pool of primary sources. Part of that work includes figuring out how to navigate the state boards as they independently make decisions to update their websites, change their URLs, update the format of their data, etc. We also see boards implementing CAPTCHA into their primary sources. When that happens, we have to engineer our platform to still be able to interact with each of these websites. Some recent examples include:
- The Massachusetts Health of Human Services recently changed the URL of their board. We were able to quickly update the URL in our system and run a quick test to make sure the data didn’t change in a meaningful way that would affect our product.
- The Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry not only updated its URL but also made a change to the format of its data. To ensure we were able to capture the newly formatted data accurately, our team had to update all of the automation in our platform that interacts with the board.
- The primary New Jersey verification board added CAPTCHA to its primary source, but our team quickly recognized the change and then implemented a fix to ensure we were able to capture the necessary data.
Dave: To wrap up our conversation, what’s on your mind as you think about all the partnerships and new markets ProviderTrust is entering and the infrastructure that’s needed to support that growth?
Chris: Our team is always working on the mechanism through which we’re able to quickly discover recent changes to primary sources and how we’re able to incorporate those changes into our data. Opportunities to more proactively flag underlying issues in client data that may lead to increases in license alerts are intriguing as we’re always looking for ways to make the integration with ProviderTrust more seamless and as frictionless as possible. Scaling with our clients is also top of mind, so they can continue to receive on-time and accurate delivery of results.