Compliance is defined as “the act of obeying an order, rule or request”.
The duties of a Compliance Officer are:
- Researching and analyzing new laws and regulations in order to identify key regulatory changes impacting compliance;
- Translating regulatory information into business requirements;
- Continuously re-assess and implement Compliance Program to ensure that all program elements are achieved in accordance with state and federal laws, rules and regulations governing compliance and data privacy and security;
- Leads annual risk assessment;
- Develops and manages policies and procedures;
- Monitors and audits the compliance program to identify areas of improvement and to measure the effectiveness of the program.
Many healthcare organizations are struggling to meet their respective compliance and privacy responsibilities. In order to check the box so to speak, they assign these duties to a member of their staff. In most cases, it is the practice administrator, office manager, human resources, etc. Unfortunately for these individuals, this is another responsibility added to their already full plate.
However, what many of them do not understand is the responsibility they are assuming when placed in this role. Foremost, you must understand that your actions and/or inactions create personal liability. This liability can result in criminal and/or civil prosecutions.
When you are the compliance officer you are accepting the responsibility of identifying and preventing illegal behavior. You are required to adequality train your staff, conduct risk assessments, chart audits, investigate potential compliance risks and provide corrective action programs. Once you are aware of an instance of non-compliance you are required to act. I know this sounds serious!
In addition, you must ensure that you assign competent and adequate resources to investigate and remediate any compliance issues. Just making recommendations for corrective action is not enough. Also, in your role as the compliance officer, you must understand any certification or report being submitted to a state or federal governmental entity by you for your organization places you in the crosshairs. You should be reluctant to sign any document unless you completely understand its contents and confirm its accuracy.
Ok, now you have been advised and/or discover a compliance issue. What are your next steps? Well, we already know now that doing nothing is not an option.
If you are having trouble answering this question, Comprehensive Compliance Concepts can take the guesswork out of your solution while at the same time reducing any potential liability. Please feel free to contact us for a no obligation solution at [email protected]