What are the advantages of outsourcing healthcare compliance? How do you measure the effectiveness of your corporate compliance program? There’s no question that you need a compliance program. The question is whether you hire a compliance officer and form a committee internally, and hope this is all it takes, or you may consider that outsourcing healthcare compliance is best.
Where large hospitals and clinics may have the resources to hire a full-time employee to manage the program, smaller organizations may not. These organizations often pass the role onto an existing employee who already has a full workload of other job duties – and when you give an already overworked and busy employee the task of running the compliance program, you can be sure the program won’t excel at its full potential.
Benefits of Outsourcing Healthcare Compliance
You can outsource your healthcare compliance to a trusted third party to achieve a multitude of benefits, including:
- Expert knowledge. You benefit from the full set of knowledge, training, and experience of a third-party consultant. When you hire an expert, you are employing an entire team of people who know healthcare compliance inside and out. They are aware of emerging trends and stay up to date on changing regulations.
- Objectivity. When you choose accredited individuals to lead up your compliance program, you are signaling to the government that you are serious about investing in compliance. Additionally, you gain an outside set of eyes to ensure your organization is doing its best to follow procedures and avoid breaches. The potential for conflicting interests is eradicated.
- Time savings. When you outsource, you turn over all aspects of the program, including employee training and education, to a third party. This saves many employee hours and management time from tedious and time-consuming processes.
- Cost-effectiveness. By eliminating the need to hire a full-time employee as a compliance manager, you avoid the need to pay for a full-time employee (salary, benefits, onboarding, etc.). Combining that with avoiding possible HIPAA fines from breaches, outsourcing healthcare compliance is a money-saving venture.
Does your hospital have pressing problems and need a quick resolution? Outsourcing healthcare compliance means to begin work immediately on compliance issues even by assisting legal counsel, providing training for staff, and developing updated/upgraded policies. To see these benefits in action this case study for the compliance program of a rural hospital may be of interest.
Selection Criteria for Outsourcing
There are plenty of options out there, but when you look at outsourcing your healthcare compliance program, you want to be sure you hire qualified consultants that have the knowledge, skills, and resources to meet your needs.
- Positive references. What do their clients say about them? An organization that gets the majority of new business from referrals is an organization with satisfied customers.
- Technology and methodology. Look for consultants that are up to date on the latest technology and methods. An effective consulting firm knows how to combine methodologies that they have perfected over the years with emerging trends of new requirements from changing technologies.
- Communication. Look for a company that will keep the lines of communication open so that you can stay informed and become active participants in your compliance program.
- Credentials. What are the credentials and experience of the consultants? Choose a partner that has proven expertise. The Fox Group provides a team of experts with hands-on experience and proven success to assist clients with their unique requirements.
When analyzing the effectiveness of your compliance program, you have to consider various steps. Given the diversity of the health care industry, there is no single ‘‘best’’ health care compliance program. The OIG recognizes the complexities of the health care industry and the differences among various health care entities. Some entities are small and may have limited resources to devote to compliance measures; others are affiliated with well-established, large, multi-facility organizations with a widely dispersed workforce and significant resources to devote to compliance. Accordingly, the compliance program guidance issued is not intended to be one-size-fits-all guidance.