DTH Series: What You Don't Want to Miss at HCCA's Compliance Institute

If you’re anything like me, you are really looking forward to the HCCA’s annual Compliance Institute this month in National Harbor, MD. In addition to seeing colleagues and networking, it’s a great place to hear multiple perspectives on healthcare compliance.

When I received the brochure this year, I was like a kid in a candy store trying to decide which sessions to attend. And, I’m fortunate to be able to speak at the event this year (you can catch me at W11—“Building Your Toolbox to Manage Conflict of Interest: Sunshine, Open Payments, and Investigations”). But the real fun comes in hearing my fellow compliance professionals, all of you, share your knowledge.

Session Highlights

I can’t help but take this opportunity to highlight some sessions that sound really interesting to me.Two of the sessions (P25 and 111) include speakers who were former whistleblowers, and you guys know how much I love to write about these kinds of cases. One whistleblower was a qui tam relator in the Carondelet Health Network settlement ($35 Million) and the other session will have the whistleblower from the Ameritox settlement ($16.3 Million). I think it would be interesting to hear their perspectives, especially on how organizations could improve their compliance programs to avoid these types of situations.

Those of us who’ve been involved in compliance for a long time probably remember the days when there was no such thing as social media and therefore, no social media risks. Oh, how the world has changed. Honestly, this is part of the reason I enjoy working in the field of compliance: new risks emerge and we have an opportunity as compliance professionals to learn new things and apply hard-earned compliance skills to new areas of risks. Sessions that fall into this area include:

  • AD1 is about “Social Media Risks.”
  • Another session that falls into this category is 106, “Telehealth: Legal and Compliance Issues.”
  • Similarly, take a look at 404, “Mobile Health (mHealth) Applications in a Healthcare Environment.”

Advances in technology are frequently accompanied by new compliance risks.

Like most of you, I especially appreciate hearing from government enforcement speakers. Of course, Daniel Levinson, one of the keynote speakers, is a must see. Additionally:

  • Session 102 includes a Chief Administrative Law Judge from the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals.
  • Another interesting session with a government speaker is scheduled to review HIPAA Enforcement (104, “OCR Enforcement Update”).

According to the Compliance Institute website, there will be more than 22 government enforcement speakers on the agenda. I think most of us value their perspectives, even with the oft-repeated disclaimer that their views are their own personal views and not necessarily the views of the government, etc.

There are a few sessions that seem to be using unique interactive tools. For example:

  • P1 “Large Hospital Systems,” plans to incorporate “polling software” so participants can learn how to benchmark their program against other large hospitals and health systems.
  • In another session, attendees are asked to bring their laptops as data sets will be distributed for a hands-on workshop to learn techniques in detecting IT access compliance issues. The session description says after general instructions on using tools and techniques, the speakers will circulate and assist attendees individually to detect IT access compliance issues in the dataset (see session P7 “Immediately Address IT Access Compliance Challengeswith These Techniques, Using Tools You Already Have”).

One of the reasons I enjoy the Compliance Institute is the wide variety of compliance topics discussed. It provides an opportunity for me to broaden my own professional knowledge. For example:

  • P10 “Drug Diversion Enforcement Trends, Investigation, and Prevention,” seems to be a very timely topic given the terrible trend of opioid drug-abuse currently experienced in the United States today.
  • Sessions P17 and 103 both appear to address the Final Rule requirements for long-term care facilities. Another “Final Rule”-type topic appears to be found in the Research Law and Compliance Year in Review (session P28) where the updates to the Common Rule regarding research compliance will be discussed.
  • 340B Program Integrity (session P21) is another area where many compliance professionals could broaden their knowledge.

The psychology of non-compliance and/or ethical principles is another interesting topic this year. Though these topics might not always be worthy of chapter and verse quotes from the CFR or Federal Register, they are important principles for compliance personnel to understand. A few sessions in this space include:

  • P3 “Keep Them Talking to You: A Culture of Trust & Integrity Improves Quality, Safety, and Organizational Outcomes!” What caught my eye from the session description was the concept of “principle-centered performance.”
  • 302, “The Blame Game: Accountability in Healthcare Compliance.”
  • On the topic of individual accountability, session 301 will focus on the compliance challenges in an era of the Yates Memo.

The Compliance Institute wouldn’t be much of a professional society conference if it didn’t offer sessions on career development. In regards to this, consider:

  • Session 409, “How to Get More LinkedIn Views than Roy: Practical Tips for Improving Your LinkedIn Profile & Getting Employers to Seek You Out.”
  • Others on this general topic include session 609, “Building Your Healthcare Compliance Resume.”
  • 509, “How to Keep Your Head Above Water in a Sea of Change.”

Regardless of which sessions appeal the most to you, we’ll all be like children in a candy store in the sense that we really can’t go wrong no matter what we choose.

I would love to meet all of you. If you are attending, please stop by the Healthicity booth or email me at cj.wolf@healthicity.com. See you in Maryland!

Questions or Comments?