Not all organizations have the luxury of employing a full-time compliance officer. And those who do often find that their compliance officer’s plate is overflowing. Compliance officer burnout can lead to a compliance officer vacancy – which can set a compliance program back significantly and create undue risk. What can you do?
The good news is that providers are not mandated to have a full-time compliance officer. The OIG Compliance Program Guidelines give providers the flexibility to allocate resources to compliance as appropriate for their organization. The crucial consideration is whether those resources lead to an effective compliance program. An employee who leads the compliance program and has other roles can do so successfully – with the right support.
That support can come in multiple forms:
- Team players. Assign some compliance tasks to Compliance Committee members or other staff who can spare an hour or two a week or month to chip in. The contributions of others can add up to major accomplishments.
- Use software tools to make your compliance officer more efficient. Software can help you manage policy drafting, updates, and distribution; training delivery and completion; audits; and more.
- Get help. Consultants who are experts in healthcare compliance can often help you accomplish more tasks, more efficiently, with significant cost and time savings. For example, it might take a new compliance officer weeks to research and draft a new policy, whereas the right consultant could send you this policy with the click of a button.
While using outside experts can make your compliance effort more powerful and cost-effective, MPA does NOT recommend outsourcing the role of Compliance Officer in its entirety. While consultants can provide substantial support, every organization needs an individual designated as compliance officer. This person is the face and the voice of your compliance program: they receive complaints, answer questions, and help foster a culture of compliance. An off-site consultant simply cannot do that.
The new year is an excellent time to outline your compliance goals and resources, and identify ways the help of other team members, software, or experts could help.
MPA can provide support and software tools maximize your compliance effort. Email me today to learn more.