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2 March 20213 minute read

Making Compliance Part of Your Business DNA

Charles Overstreet is a Global Segment Leader of FTI Consulting Health Solutions segment. Charles has exceptionally broad and varied experiences throughout the continuum of the Healthcare Industry. He focuses on assisting clients with creating innovative solutions to delivering and funding patient care that capitalizes on their strengths, responds to the future healthcare needs of their communities and enhances their compliance with all applicable guidelines.

At the DLA Piper 2021 Healthcare Leadership Conference, Charles will participate in the panel, What is an effective compliance program. This session will explore the shift in the federal government’s approach to compliance program effectiveness and how new trends will impact organizational and enforcement efforts in the future.

Q: What are the key components of an effective compliance program?

In my opinion, the most important component for an effective compliance program is to make it part of a company’s standard methods of operation, and part of how to do things the right way, and how do improve things and grow your business. In addition, I recommend data analysis and monitoring to detect trends, determine “failures” and provide for remediation and improvement.

The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector Generals’ “Seven Fundamental Elements of An Effective Compliance Program” and the Department of Justices’ 2020 update on “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” offer strong foundational knowledge on what should be in an effective compliance program.

Q: How has compliance changed during the COVID-19 pandemic as remote work and healthcare delivery increased?

The use of a remote workforce and the need to provide services distal to a care venue are increasing the need for end-to-end privacy and security protections. In addition, working remotely may also increase the need for additional education of our workers and patients on compliance. There is a need to readjust how we monitor compliance in this new environment as new challenges will emerge from educating and training workers to be compliant.

Q: What do healthcare leaders need to keep top of mind when it comes to compliance in 2021?

There will continue to be a need for an effective compliance program and that program must respond to our reemergence from the pandemic. We will likely also see an increase in the enforcement and investigative activities into the various programs initiated to aid providers and others as they responded to the pandemic. Funds provided in these various programs need to have been spent accordingly.

Looking ahead, compliance program effectiveness will be key as we begin to conduct more transactions on the other side of this pandemic. Operational due diligence of compliance programs should be robust and consider the changes in the industry, regulatory and otherwise.

Q: How would you advise a healthcare company to stay competitive and compliant in the face of new guidelines?

Companies must make compliance part of its operational DNA. Leaders need to stay on top of the guidance, educate teams on the guidance and refine compliance programs accordingly.

Q: Looking ahead, what’s next for healthcare compliance programs?

Managing risks – some old and some new – will be key as we look to the future. How companies evaluate those risks, respond and detect issues (or failures) will be critical for all compliance programs. Additionally, solid monitoring by compliance programs should be robust and adaptable to changes in operational delivery as well as changes in regulatory guidance.