Lack of guidance on compliance leaves Rick Hibben wanting

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rick Hibben says the Health Care Compliance Association, a nonprofit which offers resources for compliance professionals, needs to provide DME providers more guidance when it comes to creating compliance programs. Here’s what Hibben, a privacy and compliance adviser at VGM Homelink, had to say about the hurdles providers face.

HME News: Are providers having difficulty meeting compliance requirements?

Rick Hibben: My problem with the compliance plan is there’s no guidance. In 2013, I attended a Compliance Academy in Chicago, presented by the Health Care Compliance Association. While informative, it was really geared more toward hospitals and practitioners and offered little or no information for the typical DME provider. In this age of overwhelming regulation in all aspects of the DME industry, there needs to be more information that is focused toward our industry, instead of us having to try to interpret everything as it relates to us.

HME News: What are HME providers required to do in terms of compliance?

Hibben: The seven elements of an effective compliance program are: conducting internal monitoring and auditing, implementing compliance and practice standards, designating a compliance officer; conducting training and education; responding appropriately to fraud and developing corrective action; developing open lines of communication; and enforcing disciplinary standards through well publicized guidelines.

HME: When it comes to compliance, where are providers strong?

Hibben: Policy and procedures, simply because of mandatory accreditation. 

HME: What do providers need to work on?

Hibben: Doing quality reporting (under compliance and practice standards) to make their business better. That’s something we focus on at VGM Homelink—staff satisfaction, payer satisfaction, patient satisfaction—trying to see where we’re at and what our weaknesses are. A small company doesn’t have an opportunity necessarily to track and trend these kinds of things. hme