OIG Issues New Practical Guidance for Board Oversight of Compliance Programs
by Jesse Berg, Tim Johnson, and Jeremy Johnson
On April 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG), in conjunction with several health care associations, published a useful new compliance document titled “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight” (2015 Guidance). The 2015 Guidance expands on previous guidance documents issued by the OIG in 2003, 2004, and 2007 relating to board oversight of health care organizations. As part of the 2015 Guidance, the OIG recognizes that “compliance program design is not a ‘one size fits all’ issue.” However, smaller or less complex organizations must still demonstrate the same degree of commitment to ethical conduct and compliance as larger organizations, but they may do so with less formality and fewer resources than would be expected of larger and more complex organizations. Bottom line, the OIG expects health care boards to “put forth a meaningful effort” to implement effective compliance systems and functions and to review the adequacy of existing compliance systems and functions. The 2015 Guidance offers practical guidance to health care boards in several areas:
In assessing penalties on health care organizations that were found noncompliant by the OIG, the OIG has been more lenient on those organizations that have been able to demonstrate they have made real, meaningful commitments to try to operate in a compliant manner, including adopting and following recommended guidance provided by the OIG. Therefore, we recommend that the 2015 Guidance should be carefully reviewed by health care organization directors and officers and appropriate actions taken by such leadership consistent with such guidance.
OIG enforcement activities will be a featured event at Gray Plant Mooty’s 19th Annual Health Law Conference, to be held on July 14, 2015 at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis. Look for a save the date card in the coming weeks!
If you have any questions about the OIG’s Guidance or board oversight of corporate compliance programs, please contact Jesse Berg at email@example.com / 612.632.3374, Jeremy Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org / 612.632.3035, or Tim Johnson at email@example.com / 612.632.3208.
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