Inspector General: Self-disclosure key to healthcare compliance

Self-disclosure and self-correction will serve as key features of healthcare compliance programs as the industry navigates significant delivery reform in the coming years, Inspector General Daniel Levinson said during his keynote address at the 2016 Health Care Compliance Association's Compliance Institute.

Levinson's address, which was delivered last month but released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Tuesday, emphasized the benefits of self-reporting within a healthcare compliance program, particularly as it relates to the OIG's new exclusion guidelines. Although healthcare systems will not receive "bonus points" simply for having a compliance program, enforcement officials will take note of efforts to self-correct, and allow institutions the leeway to fix compliance concerns on their own without further imposition from regulators.

Similarly, when it comes to corporate integrity agreements, Levinson said the OIG wants to put more onus on healthcare institutions so enforcement officials can "step back knowing the institution should be able to solve the issue it has identified effectively and competently," and then appropriately tailor follow-up audits to ensure continued compliance.

Levinson also highlighted hospice care and prescription drug abuse as two pressing fraud concerns. Earlier this year, the OIG found Medicare spent $268 million on inappropriate hospice claims, and Part D spending on commonly abused opioids has increased 156 percent in the last nine years.

For more:
- watch the keynote address

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