Healthcare compliance training is an important investment for any healthcare professional or organization. The rules and regulations of the healthcare industry are continually changing. Regular training serves as a hedge against potential legal violations and to maintain the quality of care you provide to your patients.
Emphasis must be placed on the fact that training should be conducted regularly. While not mandatory, it is one of the steps that healthcare organizations should take to ensure compliance and protect their patients.
Why Do You Need Healthcare Compliance Training?
A well-planned training program can offer many benefits to an organization and its employees. The goal is to fully equip your staff and employees with the knowledge and skills before you encounter any problems. Moreover, it will also help prevent problems arising by identifying situations in advance, wherein potential problems lie.
Improve Patient Care
Improving the quality of care offered to patients is the primary reason to conduct regular healthcare compliance training.
Specifically, you want your employees to undergo training as they are the ones directly in contact with medical patients. All services should be aligned with your policies on healthcare compliance, whether you are offering physical or mental care. More than just compliance, though, training is part of your commitment to delivering top-notch medical service to all patients.
Avoid HIPAA Violations
There are two reasons why you want to avoid HIPAA violations and get proper training. Firstly, ensuring compliance is a legal requirement so that your medical organization can operate. Another reason why you want to avoid HIPAA violations is due to the potential financial impact on your organization.
The HIPAA law was established to ensure the protection of patient data and information. Carelessness or ignorance of the law is not an excuse to be exempted from the penalties of such violations. Therefore, you must be proactive in making sure you do not commit any violations and compliance training is one such solution.
Avoid Anti-Kickback Penalties
The Anti-Kickback Statute was created to prevent medical organizations or professionals from using compensation in exchange for patient referrals. This law is designed for any organizations that accept and/or are covered by government healthcare programs, such as Medicaid.
The goal behind this law is to prevent the use of financial arrangements for the gain of a specific medical organization. This practice can be potentially harmful to patients and also inflate the costs of government healthcare programs.
Elements of Successful Healthcare Compliance Training
Several elements must be present to ensure that you have a successful training program. Before you embark on your training program, make sure to identify a set of goals you want to achieve. Identifying your goals will enable you to measure your success at the end of the training and determine which areas you need to improve on.
Here are the core aspects of your training program to ensure success and effectiveness.
All employees who will handle patient health information should undergo HIPAA training. These employees must receive continuous training to ensure that they stay abreast of the latest policies. All medical or healthcare employees must understand patients' rights and enforce them at every level when providing service to them.
2. Fraud Abuse
Fraud is a serious issue and is one of the areas that the HIPAA law wants to protect patients from. There are many reports of medical and healthcare professionals who try to exploit existing healthcare programs for their financial gain. These violations often come at the expense of the patients, who are not given the proper care that they deserve.
Make it a crucial component of your training program to reinforce the penalties and other consequences your organization could face for such violations.
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) outlined the basic requirements that all employers must adhere to. These guidelines cover the specific hazards that are present in the medical work environment. For example, your employees will be handling infectious substances and are exposed to pathogens.
This part of the healthcare compliance training program will outline the vital components that ensure employee safety at work. Like the HIPAA law, your healthcare organization could also face violations if you do not comply with the OHSA guidelines for employee safety.
4. Human Resources
The human resources department and the compliance team play significant roles in ensuring compliance within the organization. With their overlapping roles, this could lead to confusion and some aspects of the healthcare compliance policies not being properly implemented or monitored.
Important Guidelines When Conducting Training
You can employ different approaches when conducting training for healthcare compliance. Make sure to follow these guidelines to ensure that you get the most out of your training program:
You should have written policies and procedures on the objectives of the training and how to conduct the training. These written policies must reiterate the legal and ethical standards you are working to achieve with this training.
You must designate the personnel who are responsible for conducting the training, as well as the venue and the tools required.
You must focus on real-life issues and problems that your organization has faced before. This will be the core area of focus for your training program to ensure that similar issues can be addressed effectively in the future.
You must identify the necessary steps to be taken in response to similar incidents and prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
Your training must focus on making sure that every employee who will be covered by the healthcare compliance policies is made aware of the risks associated with their roles. Moreover, you can emphasize the roles and contributions that each employee offers in ensuring compliance for the entire organization.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are starting your medical practice or own a healthcare organization, make sure to prioritize healthcare compliance training. It is your legal obligation to ensure that all of your policies meet the standards set for the industry, as well as to protect the interest of the patients you serve.