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See how Nashville and compliant cultures fit in the HCCA Conference
See how Nashville and compliant cultures fit in the HCCA Conference

Key takeaways from Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson's Keynote Address at the 2016 HCCA Compliance Institute  Levinson kicked off HCCA's 20th year anniversary conference with a remarkable speech addressing the importance of compliance in healthcare. He emphasized how mature the compliance field has become and compared compliance to Nashville's very own Athens of The South – the Parthenon. "This conference has annually been called an institute, but I think of it now as an institution," said Levinson. "An institute is formed for a specific purpose, whereas an institution has more gravitas and more purpose. There is a seriousness of purpose to an institution." Levinson captures that "gravitas" and that "purpose" by comparing the healthcare compliance world to the classic 2,000 year old Parthenon where each column represents the different disciplines required to actually creating a compliant culture. With one column actually being the compliance office itself, one being billing or coding, one clinical expertise, one administrative staff and one representing technology. "Each column stands to create that structure of permanence and solidity that is required for a healthcare institution."

3 Ways a Healthcare Compliance Officer Makes Organizations Healthier
3 Ways a Healthcare Compliance Officer Makes Organizations Healthier

Believe it or not, it was hard to limit it to only three. Compliance has moved from a committee no one wants to talk about (or be on) to, in many companies, the committee with a seat at the executive table. Some would argue it took too long for this evolution to arrive. Regardless, we believe it came at the right time. No one would challenge the need for compliance in today's complex healthcare environment. Regulators have focused on compliance since the beginning. The main purpose of the OIG-HHS is to set standards, guidelines, and enforce healthcare compliance. This article, The Health Care Director's Compliance Duties: A Continued Focus of Attention and Enforcement, from the OIG provides great guidance on the evolution of compliance in healthcare.   Ever since the advent of enterprise risk management and the tying together of risk, operations and compliance, this integrated and proactive approach to compliance has spread and is now adopted as the norm. The OIG has actually required a compliance plan to exist in Acute Care for decades.  Section 6102 of ACA created a mandate that nursing facilities have effective compliance and ethics programs in operation by March 23, 2013. Another section of ACA, Section 6401, requires other providers to have these programs as a condition of participation in Medicare/Medicaid programs, but nursing facilities are the first provider group to be singled out.  

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