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By Jessica Zigmond and Rich Daly

Learning compliance online

By Jessica Zigmond
2 pm, Nov. 28

Starting next week, HHS' Office of Inspector General will kick off a series of online videos and podcasts to help the nation's healthcare providers learn more about complying with a host of federal healthcare program issues.

Funded through the Healthcare Fraud, Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, or HEAT, program, the Provider Compliance Training Initiative is a series of short (five to seven minutes long) videos and podcasts that will feature a new topic every week for 11 weeks except the week of Dec. 26, according to Katherine Harris, an inspector general's office spokeswoman.

“It's another way of promoting prevention, detection and resolution of compliance problems,” Harris said. “It's a way to encourage and enable providers to buttress their compliance programs.”

The first program will focus on OIG Exclusion Authorities, the legal authority used to ban providers from federal healthcare programs. Other topics will feature the federal anti-kickback statute, the False Claims Act, the physician self-referral law, guidance and resources, compliance program basics, tips for implementing an effective compliance program, the importance of documentation, self-disclosure protocol, reporting fraud to the OIG, and using OIG's exclusions database (a resource providers can access in the hiring process to determine if someone cannot accept Medicare or Medicaid).

According to Harris, the inspector general's office held compliance sessions in six cities last spring that hosted about 700 attendees—and reached thousands because the programs were available via webcast. For this latest program, providers can watch the videos or listen to the podcasts by visiting the inspector general's website and clicking on the “compliance” tab.

Follow Jessica Zigmond on Twitter @MHJZigmond.

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