Stop, Just Stop: A Prevention Control

I do not know one compliance professional who considers this time of year a restful one. There are budget meetings, audits, new product launches, and readiness activities filling their bag of worries, when so many others are counting down the hours to taking the week off. Even if these folks are taking vacation time, the ones I know will succumb to the bad habit of checking email while at family luncheons or while shopping the post-holiday sales.

While conducting an audit recently using the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) program audit methodology, it dawned on me that leadership does not get a sense of what a plan gets right in an audit report, outside of the rare best practice identified. Many requirements roll up to the three Compliance Program Effectiveness elements of Prevention Controls and Activities, Detection Controls and Activities, and Correction Controls and Activities. It can be disheartening to just receive the bad news, but it’s the way it is.

There will always be something that needs improvement or refinement. As we close 2019, take a moment to do the following:

  • Reflect on the controls you have in place that are working well. If you have not taken stock in what those are, take the opportunity to do so.
  • Express gratitude to the people around you in compliance and operations who collaborate and partner with you even during the most trying situations, whether it’s launching a new product or on-boarding a vendor who does not know what protected health information is.
  • Apply the compliance controls to your life. Take a day off, including from your email. This prevention control is an important one to avoid burnout and stress-related health issues.

There is so much to be excited about in 2020. Be well for it, and I will see you then!