By Doug Pollack
Inspector General with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Daniel R. Levinson delivered the keynote today at the HCCA Compliance Institute. He discussed the road to compliance in healthcare, and also referred to a just released survey of Chief Legal Officers by the Association of Corporate Counsel that noted that their top priorities today are in ethics and compliance, followed closely by data breaches, and the associated data privacy and security. One key takeaway from this survey, as noted by Mark Wilson in a FindLaw article is associated with protecting corporate data: “Data breaches are all over the news these days, which has general counsel worried, and rightly so. About 25 percent of GCs reported experiencing data breaches in the last two years. Which industry was most likely to experience a data breach? Not surprisingly, it was the health care industry. Between its fairly lax security and treasure trove of personal information, it’s the most tempting target.” In his keynote, Levinson talked about the importance of and the role that health organization boards play in ensuring an appropriate culture and focus on ethics and compliance. He also noted that this perspective cuts across functional areas including not just compliance, but also responsibilities borne by audit, legal, among other areas. To foster a greater focus on compliance by health boards, the inspector general just released a document providing practical guidance to governing boards on compliance oversight. The cross-disciplinary authorship of this document is intended to highlight the complementary roles across an organization that are critical to a comprehensive compliance program.