Can I have a compliance program without a full-time Compliance Officer?
If you are a hospital, or a multi-site long-term-care or other provider, you might have the good fortune of having a full-time Compliance Officer on your staff. Most small providers, such as stand-alone nursing homes, physician practices, and critical access hospitals, are not so lucky.
The OIG Compliance Guidance recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all compliance program: providers of differing sizes and resources need flexibility to implement compliance effectively in a way that matches their organization.
Many small providers simply cannot afford a full-time Compliance Officer on staff. But they can appoint an existing staff member as Compliance Officer, and help that person make time for some compliance duties. This person can be assisted by a Compliance Committee–other team members who will also carve out some time for compliance duties.
What does the Affordable Care Act say?
The Affordable Care Act requires compliance programs as a condition of Medicare and Medicaid enrollment. It also requires compliance programs for all nursing facilities. Nursing home companies with 5+ facilities must have:
- A designated compliance officer for whom the operating organization's compliance and ethics program is a major responsibility. This individual must report directly to the operating organization's governing body and not be subordinate to the general counsel, chief financial officer or chief operating officer.
- Designated compliance liaisons located at each of the operating organization's facilities.
MPA can help
MPA works with companies with less than 100 employees, and companies with more than 1,000 employees. ALL can achieve an effective compliance program if they use resources wisely:
- Providers who can commit more staff time, and/or have existing staff who have experience with compliance, can often figure out compliance themselves. MPA’s Do-It-Yourself Compliance Tools can help fill in the gaps.
- Providers with fewer staff resources to contribute, or who need more help getting compliance off the ground and/or keeping it running, are candidates for MPA’s Full Service Compliance Program.