PROTECTING NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS

What You Should Know about Establishing a Compliance Plan

Several rules and regulations images with the word 'compliance'

posted by Mike Whitmer on Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Why should you have a compliance plan? As a healthcare provider, you are required under Federal law to have a formal compliance plan. If you accept Medicare, Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program, naturopathic doctors are required to have a compliance program, which is stipulated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Providers should have an effective compliance plan for each of the following:

  • Billings and payments; 
  • Medical necessity and quality of care;
  • Governance, mandatory reporting and credentialing; and
  • Risk areas that are or should with due diligence be identified by the provider.

An effective compliance plan helps prevent fraudulent claims, erroneous billing and prepares you and your practice for federal audits. It can also show your commitment to ethical business operations, promotion of good employee conduct and dedication to providing quality care for patients.

On the other hand, not having a compliance plan in place can expose you to hefty federal penalties.

The Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG) identifies seven fundamental elements of an effective compliance plan and they are as follows:

  1. Create and implement written policies and procedures
  2. Designate a compliance officer and compliance committee
  3. Develop reporting systems that can be used without fear of retaliation
  4. Employee education and effective lines of communication
  5. Conduct internal monitoring and auditing
  6. Enforce policies using disciplinary guidelines
  7. Respond promptly to offenses and undertake corrective action

Compliance plans can be complex, involve many regulations and require layers of oversight on your part. Consider using a compliance expert to help get your program started, ensuring you meet the elements required.

If you’d like more information, there are a number of resources available, including:

A Roadmap for New Physicians by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

CMS.gov: Compliance Program Policy and Guidance

HIPAA Compliance

Mandatory Reporting

Credentialing

  1. compliance

About The Author

Mike Whitmer

Mike Whitmer is vice president of insurance programs at NCMIC. With over 25 years' experience in insurance and finance, Mike has in-depth information to share with NDs. He is responsible for NCMIC's corporate relations team and directing risk management education efforts for doctors, stud ... read more

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