Corporate Compliance

OIG issues supplemental compliance program guidance for hospitals

Compliance Monitor, February 2, 2005

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on January 27 announced an update to its voluntary compliance program guidance for hospitals with a supplement that focuses on measuring and improving the efficacy of compliance programs and identifies fraud and abuse risk areas for hospitals.

A draft of this document, titled "OIG Supplemental Compliance Program Guidance for Hospitals," was first announced in June. The final version was officially published in the January 31 Federal Register.

The new material serves as a complement to 1998's voluntary compliance program, which was designed to establish a foundation for effective voluntary compliance programs in hospitals.

"It seems that the OIG has gone beyond its initial purview in publishing this compliance guidance," says Bruce D. Armon, Esq., a partner in the Life Sciences group of Philadelphia-based Saul Ewing LLP. "They're moving from what an effective compliance program should include to now measuring and improving how an effective compliance program should operate."

According to HHS, this guidance covers the following risk areas:

The final document is the product of two Federal Register notices and recommendations made during subsequent public comment periods. According to an HHS release, the public produced "a large number of recommendations, primarily addressing fraud and abuse risk areas, and many were incorporated into the final version of the document."

To read "OIG Supplemental Compliance Program Guidance for Hospitals," click here.

Stay tuned to Strategies for Health Care Compliance for more coverage on this hot topic.

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