Daniel Levinson, the OIG at HHS Inspector General was the kick-off speaker for the 21st Annual HCCA Compliance Institute and reiterated his the OIG’s appreciation for the hard work that healthcare compliance officers provide each day throughout all facets of the care cycle. He expressed his gratitude for the close association between HCCA and the Office of Inspector General HHS, as has been the case over the last 10+ years. Mr. Levinson has a deep commitment to the coordinated efforts of both organizations for continued success as the compliance landscape evolves, and smarter data becomes crucial for OIG and the Department of Justice to identify the bad actors.
Mr. Levinson took the audience down a recap of compliance over the last twenty years. During this time, he has served under three administrations, making him the longest-serving OIG Inspector General in history. As Mr. Levinson pointed out, the bond between HCCA and the OIG started with the passage of HIPAA privacy laws. As such, his office “bulked up its enforcement arm” and shared information as well as coordinated efforts with the DOJ and the Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU). During this time, CMS received a fund backed by taxpayers to properly distribute necessary healthcare services at both state and federal levels. During Daniel Levinson’s presentation, he thoughtfully mentioned a few valuable takeaways for those present. Take a look below at some of the best points that stood out to our team.
What is Compliance 2.0? It’s a new way of thinking about how to find unique partnerships both public and private with advanced tools to help keep government officials and healthcare professionals more equipt to tackle compliance in a digitally charged world. Compliance officers and private sector companies began to work together to help combat fraud and abuse while protecting healthcare funds entrusted to CMS. According to Mr. Levinson, “This caused us to forge partnerships with horizontal partners to fight fraud and abuse.” The decade that then followed exploded with, “…the convergence of the human factor plus technology. What we call Compliance 2.0”. With so many vendors present, the Compliance Institute proves the impact of successful partnerships between people and technology. Just taking a look at the exhibit hall space is a key identifier in how valuable software solutions are for everyday work and a testament to how far the industry has evolved in a short amount of time.
Passion for Care and Culture of Compliance
According to a 2015 article published in CFO magazine – Corporate Culture: Evidence from the Field, a deep dive study of 1348 companies and their CEO’s on the topic and importance of culture in the workplace, the study found:
- 91% of CEO’s said that culture is one of their top 5 drivers for success.
- Healthcare professionals share a passion for collaboration, diversity, trust, quality, honesty integrity, and accountability.
- 15% of these CEO’s said that their organization had achieved that culture.
- 85% of the CEO’s feared that by not having a commitment to a culture of compliance would likely lead to ethics violations, crimes, and non-compliance.
Thus, the study showed that compliance must start at the top of the organization.
The Importance of Data, Metrics, and Dashboards
The technological advances that exist today coupled with the ease of data to observe, measure, and assess compliance enables healthcare to be more productive and precise, more than ever. We all know the importance of gathering relevant and timely data to tell the compliance story, and to allow the organization to know where it is doing well, what needs improvement or how to address issues before it’s too late.
Mr. Levinson highlighted how OIG itself had entered the new technology age (although admittedly he explained that he is lagging in that area himself!) and received increased funding through the ACA and Congress to combat fraud and abuse with the advent of data analytics. He described this as, “…making all of us better at and able to think how to translate this data to healthy outcomes.”
You don’t always have to look for a home run, but that incremental and marginal gains can be gained with data and actions to address what is found.”
– Daniel Levinson, Inspector General, OIG at HHS
2017 Roundtable on Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness Guide
Each year, OIG makes a new announcement or introduces an important compliance measure to the HCCA members before issuing it to the public. This year, OIG invited a select group of 30 experts from healthcare to provide a roundtable discussion surrounding how to measure the seven elements of a compliance program effectively.
ProviderTrust’s own Donna Thiel, our Chief Compliance Officer and previously a 30-year compliance veteran in the long-term care industry was one of the chosen 30 compliance professionals invited to the roundtable.
According to Donna, participating in the roundtable was an extreme honor.
To spend the day with healthcare compliance professionals from around the country and leading members of the Office of Inspector General was quite the experience. The goal of the roundtable wasn’t to create “the” checklist for measuring compliance program effectiveness, rather it was to brainstorm and come up with as many ways as possible to measure effectiveness.
– Donna Thiel, CCO, ProviderTrust
The result of the roundtable is the culmination of 55 pages of thought leadership and guidance to the healthcare market. To take a look at this valuable resource, visit OIG’s Compliance Resources portal and download Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness: A Resource Guide.
This guide will allow a compliance officer to pick from a wide variety of options as they determine the best way to measure the effectiveness of their organization’s compliance program.
Overall, the 2017 HCCA Compliance Institute had a tremendous turnout of eager colleagues looking to learn new trends, the latest technology, and discover tips on how to keep providing quality care.
Our team had a blast getting to meet so many new faces and catch up with some familiar ones in the exhibit hall. Thanks to everyone who came to say hello and we hope to see you again next year!
If you have any further interest in learning more about compliance data and how to get organized or automate your workflows, we are just a click or phone call away and would love to connect with you!
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Written by Michael Rosen, ESQ
Michael brings over 20 years of experience founding and leading risk mitigation businesses, receiving numerous accolades such as Inc Magazine’s Inc. 500 Award and Nashville Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.