Friday, April 14, 2017

When Doctors Resist Compliance Training

"No doctor, compliance training is not optional"

We often receive calls from clients asking for creative ways or guidance to get the doctors in their practice to do compliance training along with the rest of the office staff. The doctor doesn't have time or just wants to "review" the policies and procedures, which they won't. This seems to be a fairly common thread with compliance training and doctors.
Many offices have similar issues with doctors resisting training and as a medical office manager or compliance training administrator you may need to be less coddling or creative and more firm and direct. 

The bottom line is that HIPAA, OSHA and Medicare do not simply suggest training. It is REQUIRED that ALL EMPLOYEES receive compliance training annually (including management and particularly doctors). They don’t simply recommend this or say if it is convenient but that it is REQUIRED for compliance.

It may be necessary to send a message reminding ALL staff members of this fact and the importance of being in compliance for the safety of patients and staff, privacy issues, the legal requirements and financial/reputation ramifications for the practice as a whole due to violation or non-compliance.

Including the information on specific regulations may be useful to get the message across. For example:

The HIPAA Privacy CFR discussing administrative requirements for training can be located in 45 CFR § 164.530(b)(1) and for HIPAA Security 45 CFR § 164.308(a)(5).

Similar resources for OSHA can be found on the Guide to Compliance with OSHA Standards for Medical and Dental offices website. Note that each standard requires training.

Medicare and most insurance companies also require attestation (to affirm to be correct, true, or under oath) that ALL staff receives Fraud, Waste and Abuse training to maintain receipt of payment.

As for HR and Employment Law, we were recently contacted by a client about an unemployment claim issue. Because of the Doctor making a poor decision they will likely end up paying that unemployment claim when normally they would have been able to contest it. Due to that doctors lack of HR training, his bad decision will now cost the practice unnecessarily. Please see this previous article that spawned from this incident:
The greatest risk to any organization comes from within.

Another key item of importance is that workforce member can't just read over some notes on policies or procedures and be considered "trained". There needs to be a formalized consistent method of training that includes Documentation of the training processes, dates, etc. As the saying goes, if it isn't documented it didn't happen.

Compliance and Compliance Training is not optional and is very crucial to the legitimacy and success of your practice or medical facility. Make these requirements clear to your Entire Workforce as a fundamental part of your organization's culture and a non-negotiable condition of employment at your practice. End of story!

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