Five Common Compliance Issues You May Not Know About

Our firm helps healthcare professionals with compliance issues every day. Here are some of the most common problems we have observed.

Issue No. 1: Employee Classification Is Likely Not Your Decision as an Employer

When considering costs associated with worker pay and benefits, you have no doubt noticed that workers classified as independent contractors tend to cost less money than those classified as regular employees. It is this way in most industries, and many employers try to save money by labeling as many workers as possible as independent contractors.

You should know, however, that this decision is usually not yours to make. There are strict guidelines in place for how employees should be classified. If you fail to follow them, you could be exposing the company to expensive legal risks.

Issue No. 2: HIPAA Requires Continuous and Comprehensive Effort to Maintain Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Many in the healthcare industry mistakenly believe that one-time compliance is good enough. It's not. Rather, HIPAA compliance requires comprehensive and active effort on a continual basis.

Issue No. 3: Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute Are Not the Same Thing

Stark Law, which refers to a set of federal laws named for U.S. Congressman Pete Stark, contains three provisions that govern physician self-referral when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid patients. It seeks to prevent physicians from enriching themselves by referring patients to other medical facilities that they may have a financial stake in.

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits the practice of receiving compensation (financial or other rewards) in exchanging for referring patients to specific physicians or practices.

There are many similarities and some overlap between Stark Law and Anti-Kickback, but they are not the same thing. The differences need to be understood to maintain full compliance with both.

Issue No. 4: Confusion About the CPOM Doctrine

The Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine is generally understood to mean that only a physician can own a medical practice. This is an oversimplification, and it isn't necessarily the case that non-doctors cannot own or indirectly benefit from a medical practice. Consulting with our firm is one of the easiest ways to clear up any confusion you may have about how this doctrine might apply to your practice.

Issue No. 5: Waiting Too Long to Hire a Compliance Attorney

Most healthcare professionals agree that prevention is almost always easier and cheaper than treating an ailment after it becomes a problem. The same is true with compliance. If you wait to hire a compliance attorney until you have already gotten in trouble with the law, your lawyer's services are bound to be more expensive and perhaps less effective than if you had prevented problems in the first place.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most compliance issues are reported by people inside an organization. Therefore, playing defense is important because the people who would report non-compliance are people you already know.

Contact Us to Discover How We Can Help Your Practice Thrive

Ideal Business Partners is based in Las Vegas, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding Nevada communities. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, call us at 702-852-6799 or send us an e-mail.