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Becoming A Therapy Compliance Officer

September 2, 2015 2 Comments

Becoming A Therapy Compliance Officer by Nancy BeckleyAre you thinking of becoming a therapy compliance officer?  I often get inquiries by phone, through this website and via email from clinicians asking about becoming a compliance officer.  Some inquiries are from clinicians that are excited about compliance, some are from clinicians that are burned out and looking for a new career opportunity, others are clinicians wondering “are you hiring?”  Of note, most if not all, indicate that they like to review charts, and have experience in helping clinicians better documentation.  Others have experience in facilitating the external medical review and appeals process.

Are You Interested in Becoming A Therapy Compliance Officer?

Now that I have your attention, there are a few areas to begin the journey to see if compliance is the profession for you.  In no particular order here are a few things to consider:

  1. Join the Health Care Compliance Association.  A whole new world will open for you.  You will begin receiving the Compliance Today journal on a monthly basis packed with up to date information articles from compliance officers, lawyers and consultants sharing valuable insight and expertise on the all things compliance.  With membership you will be able to access the compliance library and participate in the discussion groups where resources are shared freely.
  2. Plan to attend the Compliance Institute in April, 2016 in Las Vegas.  The content and quality of the sessions are guaranteed to have your head spinning.  When you register be sure to pick up the orange “Rehabilitation” ribbon for your name badge so that those of us “rehab” regulars to the Compliance Institute can welcome you!
  3. Consider attending an upcoming Compliance Academy to fully immerse yourself in the compliance world.  A little prep prior to attending, a lot of onsite study groups and you will be ready to sit for the compliance certification exam at the end of the week.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the Office of Inspector General’s website.  Query the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE), scroll through the audit reports, look at the Annual Work Plan, and don’t forget to visit the OIG’s YouTube Channel.  There are also great educational resources for compliance education and training.
  5. Learn about the “five FACES of fraud and abuse”, otherwise know as the five key health care laws: False Claims Act, Anti-kickback statute, Civil Monetary Penalties, Exclusions Statute and Stark.

As a compliance officer you will likely find yourself conducting investigations, designing and implementing educational programs, writing compliance policies, conducting risk assessments, developing compliance monitors and implementing an audit program.  The compliance cycle is designed to detect, correct and prevent compliance problems.

Are you interested in becoming a therapy compliance officer?  Have you started your research on how to make the transition?  Stay tuned as we will be offering some resource materials and support services for new rehab compliance officers.  We want to hear from you.


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Nancy Beckley

Nancy J. Beckley MS, MBA, CHC: President-Nancy Beckley & Associates LLC. Compliance outsourcing, risk assessment, compliance plans, compliance training, auditing, due diligence, investigation support for therapy providers.

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Comments (2)

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  1. LuAn Hobson says:

    Thanks Nancy! I’m an OT and a few weeks away from completing the graduate certificate in healthcare compliance program at George Washington University. Your readers should know that before you can sit for one of the compliance certification exams you must have either one year of full time experience in a compliance position or have completed a certificate program like the one offered by GWU and several other universities or law schools. Attending one conference does not qualify you to sit for any of the basic compliance certification exams.
    Thanks for all you do for the rehab community. I attended one of your seminars a few years back. You are a dynamic presenter, and a wonderful resource!!

  2. LuAn – Thank you for your comments. My blog post did not mean to imply that attending a conference provided the qualifications to sit for the CHC exam. Anyone attending the Compliance Institute is likely to have a scope of work that encompasses compliance or is in a position wherein the focus is compliance related activities. I am currently mentoring two individuals who will attend the compliance institute this year, and then sit for the exam. Given that an individual has to apply to sit for the exam, the requirements are clearly outlined in the application. I am contacted fairly often by therapists who wish to transition to compliance, and most often describe their experience as chart reviews. (the place where I actually spend the least amount of time). I actively encourage anyone who is interested in healthcare compliance to join the HCCA, read Compliance Today, and attend a regional conference to get the depth and scope of the compliance field. I am a fan of the Compliance Academy approach as well as the post-graduate approach. Best of luck in completing your graduate curriculum, and in passing the exam. I hope to see you at a future Compliance Institute. and in the meanwhile I hope you read my bimonthly “Connectivity” column in Compliance Today.
    For those interested in learning more about the compliance exam the Candidate Handbook is the place to start.

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