Healthcare Compliance in 2020 and Beyond

With data privacy laws being proposed and enforced worldwide, it’s no surprise that many healthcare organizations are revisiting their internal compliance guidelines. A lot has changed since President Bill Clinton signed HIPAA into law in 1996, and compliance officers and their teams have complex legal waters to navigate.

Top Takeaways from the HCAA 2019 Compliance Institute

The 23rd Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) Compliance Institute gathered more than 3,000 healthcare compliance professionals in Boston, Massachusetts last week. The Compliance Institute offers the opportunity to learn about the latest developments and priorities from regulators, and this year’s event was no exception. Despite the challenges from working in a highly regulated industry, there are many opportunities for compliance officers to strengthen their healthcare organization’s compliance program.

On March 27th, the House of Representatives passed HR 7, the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” by a vote of 242 to 187.  This bill includes several provisions intended to promote gender pay equity in the workplace.

Section 10 of the bill would amend the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to restrict the ability of covered employers to consider wage history information during the hiring process.

The bill would make it unlawful for covered employers to:

Healthcare compliance officers are challenged with overseeing their organization's compliance program, but they can’t do it alone, especially when it comes to new hires. They must partner with HR to ensure compliance is effectively integrated into the overall onboarding process.

Continuous background screening was recently named as a top employment screening trend for 2019 by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Greater numbers of employers are weighing the advantages of conducting post-hire screenings on their workforce. While the benefits of recurring background checks are compelling to employers, successful program adoption also rests on sensitivity around cultural impact.

As we kick off the New Year, here’s a look back at the most popular posts from the previous year. 2018 was a year with a heightened focus on compliance for employers as FCRA litigation ensues while the healthcare industry faces the ongoing challenges of a rapidly changing sector. Background check compliance, drug testing, workplace appreciation, and the Death Master File Search are all topics that were most popular among our readers in the past year.

Maintaining a healthcare compliance program can be challenging for compliance officers as they guide their organizations through an increasingly complex landscape, but developing partnerships can help.

“Getting other departments involved is the best way to ensure compliance becomes part of the culture of the organization,” says David Sims, Managing Partner at Security First IT, an IT security and support firm that specializes in healthcare.

Given stringent federal patient privacy laws and the growing threat of cyberattacks and data breaches, the conventional wisdom is that healthcare organizations are investing more resources than ever on compliance. But a recent industry study suggests healthcare providers have a long way to go when it comes to compliance.

Several years ago, my colleague Vu T. Do, PreCheck’s Vice President of Compliance, discussed a growing concern for employers as our investigators noticed an uptake in the detection and reporting of diploma mills. Unfortunately, this is not the only trend with which healthcare employers should be concerned.

Last week, drug testing expert Nina M. French from the Current Consulting Group presented the important changes affecting healthcare employers’ drug testing programs during PreCheck’s webinar. In case you missed the live presentation, a recorded version is now available from our Resources Library.

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