By Margaret Scavotto, JD, CHC
Director of Compliance Services
Management Performance Associates
I frequently hear people say they think compliance is important, and are eager to move their program forward—but it’s not in the budget. This is a concern with compliance in general, but particularly with culture campaigns such as compliance week. The bottom line is: money isn’t everything, especially when it comes to compliance culture.
For example, I work with a nursing home that held a highly successful compliance week last year with a $150 budget—and this year, the Compliance Officer thinks she can pull it off with an even smaller budget.
There are some exceptions. The larger your company, the greater the OIG expectation of resources allocated for compliance. For example, if you can spend thousands of dollars a year on a holiday employee party, but can’t allocate funds for compliance week, that is probably going to raise some eyebrows. But smaller providers with a shoestring budget can absolutely have a culture of compliance if they think creatively.
Here are some ways you can advance your compliance culture with zero to little financial investment (other than staff time):
- Ask your board/other leader to sign a commitment to compliance. Put it on your website and hang it in the lobby.
- Leverage existing in-services by adding compliance content.
- Leverage existing meetings (e.g. QAPI) by expanding into other compliance topics.
- Promote an “open door” policy for the Compliance Officer.
- Remind the Compliance Officer to walk the halls and get to know people.
- Print your own flyers and table tents with compliance reminders.
- Thank employees who go above and beyond for your compliance program.
These are a few of many ways you can make compliance your context without budgeting $2000 for coffee mugs or stress balls with your compliance hotline on them (larger companies might find this a worthy spend, of course).
At your next Compliance Committee meeting, brainstorm cost-effective ways to grow your compliance culture. You might be surprised at how easy (and fun!) it can be.
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