Breaking Compliance News Blog

Plan a Successful Compliance Week with MPA's free webinar!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 9/29/20 11:20 AM

Sign up for the next webinar in MPA's Free Compliance Webinar Series:

October 14th at 12 p.m. CST: Plan a Successful Compliance Week!

Your compliance program is only as strong as the culture behind it - and the knowledge and buy-in of your team. It takes year-round activities and awareness to support that culture. In this webinar, we will discuss approaches to plan a fun and engaging Compliance Week for your staff. Whether it's been a year since you held Compliance Week - or whether compliance has been back-burnered during the pandemic and your culture needs a boost - it's time to schedule a Compliance Week!

Learn how to plan a Compliance Week that reinforces compliance as a positive force in your organization.

Sign up here.

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Topics: Training and Education, Culture of Compliance, compliance

Monthly Compliance & HIPAA Moments are here!

Posted by Michael Scavotto on 9/24/20 9:45 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.

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Topics: Culture of Compliance, compliance

Sign up for MPA's free webinar: Plan a Successful Compliance Week!

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 9/17/20 9:30 AM

Sign up for the next webinar in MPA's Free Compliance Webinar Series:

October 14th at 12 p.m. CST: Plan a Successful Compliance Week!

Your compliance program is only as strong as the culture behind it - and the knowledge and buy-in of your team. It takes year-round activities and awareness to support that culture. In this webinar, we will discuss approaches to plan a fun and engaging Compliance Week for your staff. Whether it's been a year since you held Compliance Week - or whether compliance has been back-burnered during the pandemic and your culture needs a boost - it's time to schedule a Compliance Week!

Learn how to plan a Compliance Week that reinforces compliance as a positive force in your organization.

Sign up here.

Read More

Topics: Training and Education, Culture of Compliance, compliance

I’ll have another rosemary latte and a HIPAA breach, please.

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 8/25/20 9:00 AM

As the United States is in varying stages of opening versus shutting down in response to COVID-19, the definition of "workplace" has become a very fuzzy concept. Sometimes I work at home, and sometimes I work at the office. I hear from some parents will be working with a "pod" of children learning virtually in their homes. And yes, some employees have resumed working at coffee shops. This changing reality of where we are working brought this popular blog from 2019 to mind - so here is one from the archives...

 

The other day I stopped by my favorite local coffee shop for an afternoon pick-me-up. I ordered my guilty pleasure – a brown sugar rosemary latte – and sat down in the only available seat on the lobby couch to wait.

A few minutes later, a young woman came in and sat down next to me, opened her laptop, and began clack-clacking away (a common occurrence, as this coffee place is known as an unofficial co-working space).

I got up to get my latte, sat back down, and noticed that the woman was on the phone. I began reading an article about a recent HIPAA breach (in a moment you will learn the irony in this), and tried not to be distracted by her call. But, I couldn’t help but notice she seemed to be talking about a patient. She mentioned the patient’s name and birthday, and then scheduled an appointment for him. She went on to do this for several other patients. Then she called a few patients to check on their condition and well-being. I also couldn’t help but notice that she was typing information into some kind of EMR database.

If this was a cartoon, my head would have exploded at this moment.

When my disbelief faded into the reality that this person – perhaps some kind of case worker or social worker – was in fact discussing patients and their health care information – I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Does this really happen? Am I on some kind of brainy reality TV show for HIPAA professionals? How could two people sitting on the same couch have such different reactions to these phone calls? How could I be so appalled – and this woman be oblivious and even pleased to be accomplishing so much?

I’ll tell you why: awareness and training.

I think about HIPAA all the time. I follow HIPAA settlements and headlines daily, blog about them, and build training programs and policies around them. So, I see HIPAA everywhere.

I don’t know what kind of HIPAA training my couch neighbor has had. It could be she was trained extensively and chose to ignore the advice. Or perhaps it is more likely that she wasn’t trained on HIPAA – or at least, not recently – and not on protecting patient privacy when working remotely.

What about your staff? Would they know what to do?

 

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Topics: Training and Education, HIPAA, Culture of Compliance

You need your compliance program now more than ever

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 7/30/20 9:15 AM

In June 2020, The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association published survey results: Compliance and the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This survey of compliance professionals found:

"The COVID-19 pandemic has upended countless organizations and how people work... compliance programs have also felt the impact. Teams have had to adjust the way they work to ensure that regulatory mandates are still met - all while staying on top of the myriad regulation changes meant to address the pandemic."

I think we can all agree it has not been easy.

Here is what your healthcare professional peers say about COVID-19's effect on compliance:

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Topics: Culture of Compliance, compliance, COVID-19

Sign up for MPA's free webinar: HIPAA & PR Pitfalls

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 7/28/20 8:53 AM

Sign up for the next webinar in MPA's Free Compliance Webinar Series:

August 11 at 11 a.m. CST: HIPAA & PR Pitfalls

The OCR has entered multiple HIPAA settlements with healthcare providers who violated HIPAA with public relations campaigns and media communications. This was an issue before COVID-19, and the pandemic has only increased media attention and the need for effective HIPAA protocols.

Learn how to stay on the good side of the news.

Sign up here.

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Topics: HIPAA, Culture of Compliance, compliance

Train Remotely with Compliance and HIPAA Training Handbooks

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 7/21/20 9:45 AM

The pandemic has led covered entities and business associates to rethink training.

For starters, in-services are not always practical right now. With more remote employees, and concerns about trying to contain spread of the virus, in-person, classroom-style training is not working for everyone.

Plus, many providers are dealing with an evolving workforce: more agency/temp staff, more healthcare professionals newly hired due to loosened education or certification requirements during COVID-19. All of these people need training - and providers have less time to train.

Compliance and HIPAA training does not have to be in the form of a live in-service to be effective. 

MPA's Compliance and HIPAA Training Handbooks can help.

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Topics: Compliance Basics, Training and Education, HIPAA, Culture of Compliance, MPA's Compliance Store, COVID-19

Compliance Lessons from The Office

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 7/14/20 9:45 AM

NBC's The Office is one of my favorite shows to watch at the end of the day if there's time to unwind. Luckily, all nine seasons are available on Netflix through 2020. As a compliance professional, I can't help gleaning some valuable compliance Do's and Don'ts while watching Michael Scott. Join me on July 21 for a free webinar: Compliance Lessons from NBC's The Office.

Here's a few of the lessons we will discuss:

  • When an employee commits a serious compliance violation, don't look the other way because you really like the person.
  • Thank employees when they do something great.
  • Be consistent with discipline - use a standardized system.
  • Don't celebrate a lack of compliance reports or audit findings.
  • Respect your employees by keeping the complaints confidential.

While we can't play clips fro The Office during the webinar due to copyright reasons, here are the episodes we will discuss:

  • Season 1, Episode 3: Healthcare
  • Season 2, Episode 1: The Dundies
  • Season 2, Episode 2: Sexual Harassment
  • Season 2, Episode 15: Boys and Girls
  • Season 2, Episode 21: Conflict Resolution
  • Season 4, Episode 3: Launch Party
  • Season 5, Episode 3: Business Ethics

July 21 at 10 a.m CST: Compliance Lessons from NBC's The Office:

While this webinar is based on a TV comedy, I assure you we will cover lots of serious compliance lessons! There is much to learn about compliance culture - good and bad - from Michael Scott.

Sign up here.

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Topics: Culture of Compliance, compliance, webinar

Sign up for MPA's Upcoming Free Compliance Webinars

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 6/30/20 5:45 AM

Sign up for the next two webinars in MPA's Free Compliance Webinar Series:

 

July 21 at 10 a.m CST: Compliance Lessons from NBC's The Office:

While this webinar is based on a TV comedy, I assure you we will cover lots of serious compliance lessons! There is much to learn about compliance culture - good and bad - from Michael Scott.

Sign up here.

August 11 at 11 a.m. CST: HIPAA & PR Pitfalls

OCR has entered multiple HIPAA settlements with healthcare providers who violated HIPAA with public relations campaigns and media communications. Learn what happened and how to stay on the good side of the news.

Sign up here.

Read More

Topics: HIPAA, Culture of Compliance, compliance

Compliance when nobody is watching

Posted by Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC on 3/17/20 9:30 AM

From the archives... 

Everyone knows an effective compliance program needs policies, training, leaders, audits, reporting, investigations, corrective action and discipline. You probably already have these elements in place.

You have policies and training to help your employees do the right thing.

You have audits to verify that your employees are following compliance policies (and doing the right thing).

You have a compliance hotline or other reporting mechanism to find out when employees aren't doing the right thing. And when that happens, you use your investigations, discipline and corrective action policies.

Many of us put these crucial compliance elements in place, cross our fingers, and hope our employees are doing the right thing.

But how do we motivate employees to do the right thing when nobody is watching? After all, most of the time, nobody is watching. And isn't the purpose of compliance to help employees do the right thing - whether somebody is watching or not?

Policies, annual training, audits and a reporting mechanism are a good start. They are essential. But they are not enough to motivate staff to do the right thing all the time. Your challenge as a Compliance Officer is to make compliance part of daily life for your team. How can we help employees understand compliance every day?

Meet employees where they are. Incorporate helpful compliance reminders into their workflow. Would a shift-change chat work? Flyers in the bathroom stalls? (There's nothing else to read in there....) Does the Compliance Officer walk the halls and take a couple of minutes to go over basic compliance concepts with staff? What about displaying short compliance messages on a digital photo frame, or compliance videos on an iPad? Training does not have to be an in-service to be effective.

In the era of social media, infotainment and information overload, compliance has to make some noise. Think outside the box for ways to keep compliance top-of-mind, and help staff do the right thing when nobody is watching.

Compliance Training Handbooks are here!

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Topics: Culture of Compliance

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