Health Information Management

Develop a response process for never events

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 15, 2009

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It’s important for hospitals to have a process in place regarding never events, says John Steiner, Esq., chief compliance officer at UK HealthCare in Lexington, KY.

“There are numerous support areas that need to figure out how to work together—risk management, compliance, legal, patient accounts, coding, etc.,” he says.

There are several steps providers can take to ensure they are prepared, Steiner says:

  • Designate a never event response team that includes physician leadership, a compliance officer, nursing leadership, operations management, quality and risk management, legal, HIM, and finance
  • Make sure all policies regarding never events are up-to-date and include all situations that CMS lists as never events
  • Provide education for new and existing staff members regarding never events to increase awareness and focus on patient safety and prevention
  • Ensure all appropriate forms and occurrence reports are updated and available for use

Providers also need to make sure everyone is aware of and understands these three NCDs. Better internal communication will help ensure everyone is doing what the NCDs require, Steiner says.

Editor’s note: This tip was adapted from the August issue of Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies. 

 



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