Live from the Nation’s Capital – DC Regional Conference

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Washington Monument at night with the city skyline and cherry blossom. Colorful reflections of Washington landmarks in the Tidal Basin.

IMG_3706Live from the Nation’s Capitol – DC Regional Conference
Walter E. Johnson, Compliance & Ethics Professional
walter@wejohnson.org

Today, there was a great turnout at the regional conference in the nation’s capital. This was the Health Care Compliance Association’s 3rd regional conference in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ethics and compliance professionals traveled from as far as Oregon to attend this event. One local health system sent four members of their compliance team.  One attendee joined the profession approximately 6 months ago. She received a free HCCA t-shirt for being the newest to profession in attendance.

This was a great networking opportunity! Personally, I was able to reconnect with alumni from the Basic Compliance Academy, volunteers from past CI Volunteer events, attendees from past Compliance Institutes, and a couple of former colleagues. In addition to the many reunions, I made several new connections such as an attendee that is a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) representing a government contractor with a Medicare contract.

The planning committee did an excellent job of using member feedback to develop an agenda that included relevant topics and phenomenal presenters. The speakers included Kimberly Brandt, Cornelia Dorfschmid, Ronald Chillemi, Dotty Billinger, Ryan Meade, and George Breen.

In the Keynote, Kim Brandt, Chief Oversight Counsel, U.S Senate Finance Committee Majority Staff, gave an update on the political structure and what to expect regarding future audits from the list of contractors. According to Kim and supported by several examples, there are many great things being accomplished by Congress despite what the media is sharing. Next, was Cornelia Dorfschmid and she provided tips on avoiding triggers that initiate future audits. Ron Chillemi is a former U.S. Attorney and provided insight of anti-fraud efforts from the government perspective and in his current experience as a partner in private practice. When Ron shared the types of responses to expect when conducting compliance investigations, attendees chuckled as they related to SODDI (Some Other Dude Did It).

After the lunch break, Dotty Bollinger provided a well-rounded presentation on what to expect when bringing risk assessments in-house. Recommendations included identifying key areas to assess for risks, obtaining buy-in from the business, and the soft- and hard-skills that ECOs should look for when building a compliance team. Ryan Meade started his presentation by asking the attendees to raise their hands if their organizations are involved in research. After two-thirds of the room raised their hand, he shared that in his experience that portions of the other one-third is involved in research but unaware. In Research Compliance 101, Ryan provided recommendations that attendees can begin using immediately to assess activities in their organizations.  George Breen concluded our day with attorney-client privilege and compliance. George provided an overview of what’s protected and what’s not.  He discussed cases and shared his own experiences involving compliance investigations and interviews. At the conclusion of his presentation, there was short quiz to test whether attendees could identify what was protected and not-protected. Attendees that answered correctly received a HCCA t-shirt.

In the nation’s capitol, we conclude a week of warm weather with hot topics, networking, and new information to include into our ethics and compliance programs.  Thanks to HCCA for coordinating another successful event. For those that missed this event, see Kim Brandt, Ryan Meade, George Breen, and myself at HCCA’s 20th Annual Compliance Institute in Las Vegas from April 17-20. Next year, HCCA’s 21st Annual Compliance Institute will take place at the National Harbor.  I look forward to learning and connecting with our colleagues at both events.

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