Breaking Compliance News Blog

What’s worse: a bad policy, or no policy?

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 7/13/21 9:15 AM

The CEO of a group of pain clinics was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a $150 million health care fraud scheme. He was also ordered to pay $51 million in restitution. 

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Topics: compliance

Do your staff understand the damage done by a HIPAA breach?

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 6/29/21 10:13 AM

Psych nurse gabs with TV news

In 2009, a Massachusetts man was charged with the murder of a college student at a café. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and was committed to a state psychiatric hospital for 60 years.

Eight years later, a nurse at this psychiatric hospital told the news that dangerous patients were playing violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto. The story made the TV news – with significant consequences. The man who was acquitted of murder charges in 2009 sued the hospital, claiming the nurse’s comments prevented his transfer to a building with lower security. He also claims the TV news story caused him distress and emotional pain and suffering and damaged his therapeutic progress.

Privacy breach leads to assault

A rape victim was treated at a Kansas City hospital, where she received a rape kit examination. Afterward, one of the hospital’s X-ray technicians allegedly used the patient’s medical information to warn the rapist that the victim is accusing him of rape. The victim has since filed a lawsuit against the hospital for wrongfully releasing her health information to the alleged rapist. According to the lawsuit, after she was released from the hospital, her alleged attacker harassed her with threats, texts, social media posts, and then attacked her again. The lawsuit asserts claims based on invasion of privacy, negligence, and fiduciary duty, and seeks financial and punitive damages.

HIPAA breaches ruin lives

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Topics: Training and Education, HIPAA, compliance

Stop ordering chips at the rx drive-thru window

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 6/15/21 9:30 AM

This blog was also posted on The Compliance & Ethics Blog, the national compliance blog published by the Health Care Compliance Association and the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics.

Not too long ago, I stopped at the pharmacy drive-up window to pick up a prescription. While patiently waiting in her car seat for me to complete the transaction, my preschooler looked at the pharmacy technician behind the window and said: “I would like chips, please.” She thought we were at the OTHER drive-up window – the one belonging to Breadco (in St. Louis, we call Panera “Breadco.” It originated in our town, and we will not adapt to its new name). At Breadco, we order sandwiches with “chips, please.” The pharmacy employee was very nice – and explained that, as a pharmacy employee, she cannot provide chips at the drive-up window.

This got me thinking: Of course you can’t get chips at a prescription pick-up window. Not all stores are the same. Not all drive-up window personnel do the same things. This is an honest mistake for a preschooler. It’s also a mistake in business and one that happens far too often. Are we asking the right people to do the right things?

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Topics: compliance

Does your compliance program spark joy?

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 5/26/21 1:43 PM

This blog was also posted on The Compliance & Ethics Blog, the national compliance blog published by the Health Care Compliance Association and the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics.

After 14 months of this pandemic, we’re pretty tired. Tired of working at home, tired of figuring out how to safely go back to work, tired of additional duties that COVID-19 brought to those who work in healthcare, tired of trying to keep up compliance in the midst of all this.

We are low on joy.

But there’s good news. With fewer social opportunities, we’ve also had more time to watch Netflix. If you’re like me, compliance ideas come at unlikely times – while walking the dog, driving to Target, or binge-watching Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix (or reading Kondo’s book – it’s sold 2,000,000 copies).

Kondo’s method that has inspired countless people to fill an entire box of 30-gallon Heftys with their unwanted possessions comes down to one fundamental question: “Does this spark joy for you?” Anything that doesn’t spark joy has to go.

What does this have to do with compliance?

Over time, compliance needs decluttering, too. Routines become stale. Training can become less relevant (and interesting). When we are surrounded by the same concepts and practices day in and day out, it can become mundane. Especially during a pandemic.

So I ask you: Does your compliance program spark joy?

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Topics: compliance

Monthly Compliance & HIPAA Moments are here!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 5/5/21 10:04 AM




Time and time again, we see healthcare providers defending a HIPAA breach, employee termination, or other compliance conundrum with the words: "All employees are trained at hire and annually."

These articles show us that training staff at hire and annually is not enough.

If we want compliance and HIPAA to be top-of-mind and part of our daily culture, our compliance and HIPAA messages need to be - well, part of our daily culture.

MPA's Monthly Compliance Moments and Monthly HIPAA Moments help you keep these topics top-of-mind for your staff. Each download includes 12 flyers for you to distribute to staff by email, or to print and post around your building. 

Make compliance and HIPAA messages pervasive and effective with MPA's Monthly Compliance Moments and Monthly HIPAA Moments.

Purchase Monthly Compliance Moments for $125.

Purchase Monthly HIPAA Moments for $125.

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Topics: Culture of Compliance, compliance

Choose MPA's next free compliance webinar!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 4/6/21 10:10 AM

MPA offers a free compliance and HIPAA webinar series to keep you current.

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Topics: HIPAA, compliance, webinar

The Compliance Cartoon Caption Contest is here!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 3/31/21 10:01 AM

Boost your culture of compliance with MPA's Compliance Cartoon Caption Contest!


This new download on MPA's store includes four compliance cartoons ready for your employees to caption. The HIPAA version includes four HIPAA cartoons.

Distribute one (or more!) cartoons to your staff by email, or print and post them in your building. Ask staff to come up with captions, and return their cartoons to the Compliance Officer. Then, choose a winner: A caption that embodies your culture of compliance, and will resonate with your organization. Post the winning caption (or captions), and award the winner(s) a prize. 


  • holding the contest in connection with Compliance Week, or annual compliance training.
  • framing your top captions and displaying them in a hallway or common area.

Each caption is followed by Compliance Officer notes: An explanation of the compliance risk involved, and a sample caption.

Compliance Cartoon Caption Game: $95

Compliance Cartoon Caption Game - HIPAA Version: $95

Here's a sample:

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Topics: HIPAA, Culture of Compliance, compliance

Too much compliance and HIPAA news to read?

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 3/25/21 10:00 AM

MPA scours the compliance and HIPAA headlines daily so that you don't have to.

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Topics: HIPAA, compliance

Earn 5 CEUs with MPA’s Virtual SNF Compliance Officer Training!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 2/10/21 1:42 PM

Compliance is mandatory for SNFs! Is your compliance program survey-ready?

Sign up for MPA's Virtual Compliance Officer Training Course

*** Approved for 5 hours of NAB CEUs***

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Topics: Training and Education, Affordable Care Act, compliance, compliance officer, Phase 3, webinar

* Free Webinar: HIPAA Wake-Up Calls!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 2/10/21 10:27 AM

Sign up for MPA's free webinar:

HIPAA Wake-Up Calls

Tuesday February 16th at 12 pm CST

In 2020, there were 19 HIPAA settlements totaling $13,554,900. The settlements ranged between $10,000 and $6.85 million, and affected between one and 16,649,249 patients.

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Topics: HIPAA, security, compliance, breach notification, privacy, webinar

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