Healthcare compliance training is a highly important part of any medical organization’s functions. Without it, medical facilities couldn’t legally operate, and the quality of patient care across the country would plummet.
But what exactly is healthcare compliance training, and what can you expect from it? Although the exact answer may vary, we’ve provided a general overview and breakdown below.
What Is Healthcare Compliance Training?
Healthcare compliance training is an ongoing process used to educate employees about their compliance responsibilities, as well as changes in regulations. Healthcare compliance training is mandatory for all health facilities, and requires an organization and its providers to:
- Develop policies, processes, and procedures to outline what’s considered appropriate conduct
- Monitor the adherence of these policies, processes, and procedures
- Train staff
This concept is far from new. Back in 1918, the American College of Surgeons first established minimum standards for their surgery facilities. This was the first step to improving the safety and privacy of patients.
Fast forward to today, and healthcare organizations and providers have dedicated teams that specialize in healthcare compliance within their facility.
Healthcare Compliance Training Guidelines
Your healthcare compliance training will vary based on the program your organization selects. Luckily, the Office of Inspector General, which focuses on protecting federal healthcare programs from fraud, has published some general guidelines on what’s included.
- The development, distribution, and implementation of written standards of conduct, policies, and procedures that further the organization’s commitment to meeting legal and ethical standards.
- The designation of a chief compliance officer and other appropriate individuals who are responsible for operating and monitoring the compliance program.
- The development and implementation of employee training and education programs.
- The development of lines of communications that enable individuals to report compliance issues or concerns without retaliation (also includes the ability to report anonymously).
- The development and execution of processes to respond to complaints.
- Auditing and monitoring to gauge compliance and address known issues.
- Timely and appropriate response to detected offenses, including corrective action.
These guidelines are extremely useful, but the most effective healthcare compliance program adapts to address concerns specific to your facility.
Why Healthcare Compliance Training Matters
A well-planned and thorough healthcare compliance training program can help you recognize and identify problems before a government agency does. This should give you enough time to create a solution to this problem, and potential future problems.
Healthcare compliance programs can also effectively reduce the imposition of sanctions and financial penalties. In fact, healthcare organizations without proper and effective HIPAA compliance can actually receive higher penalties for breaches.
Aside from creating a well-informed workplace, there are three specific reasons that it’s vital to have an effective healthcare compliance program:
- To avoid HIPAA violations
- To avoid breaking medical kickback laws
- To improve patient care
To Avoid HIPAA Violations
HIPAA violations are some of the leading issues that prompt companies to invest in training. The confidentiality of patient health information is and always will be a top priority for the medical industry.
And unfortunately, accidental HIPAA violations are not as uncommon as you may think. Also known as civil HIPAA violations, they occur due to general carelessness or ignorance of the law -- something easily avoided with proper compliance training.
HIPAA business associate compliance checklists are also a helpful tool to ensure your staff stays on the right side of the law.
To Avoid Breaking Medical Kickback Laws
Anti-kickback penalties can be a huge blow to a health organization. And although this law may seem like common sense to follow, it’s important to reiterate its importance during compliance training.
The Anti-Kickback Statute is simple: Medical providers and organizations can’t use payment or compensation to encourage patients to come to their office for treatment.
To Improve Patient Care
The ultimate goal for any medical practice should be the same: to improve patient care.
And the entire purpose, and benefit, of compliance training is to improve patient care through decisions that align with clinical standards. Patient care goes far beyond the physical or mental treatment, and everyone in an organization plays a role in ensuring that top-notch patient care follows them out the door.
Start Your Practice
Without healthcare compliance training, you legally cannot run a medical practice. Beyond that, failing to administer or implement compliance rules can end up landing you in hot water with several federal agencies.
These are just some of the many rules you need to follow when running your own medical practice. We understand that getting a startup on its feet may seem overwhelming, so we’ve put together this free checklist to get you started: