Editor's note: At a time of rapid change in the healthcare industry, HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson's office is charged with steering healthcare companies on the path of honest and transparent work. Modern Healthcare reporter Joe Carlson sat down with Levinson last week to talk about new developments in that mission. The inspector general had just finished delivering his April 22 keynote address to the Health Care Compliance Association's annual Compliance Institute, held this year in National Harbor, Md. Levinson discussed plans to continue auditing hospitals and expanding those types of reviews to Medicare Part B expenses. He also touched on efforts to persuade healthcare companies to turn themselves in when they uncover wrongdoing internally, and the fraud implications of the rapidly growing use of EHRs. Here is an edited excerpt:
Joe Carlson: You mentioned the recent bombings in Boston during your speech. Do people in healthcare compliance have a role in terms of disaster preparedness?
Daniel Levinson: I think that compliance has a role throughout the healthcare world and, yes, I can't imagine a corner that they wouldn't be involved. But what I think was impressive about what happened in Boston is how responsive everyone in the healthcare community was and how effective, how capable, how on top of that emergency people were.
Carlson: But is there a compliance function in making sure that a hospital actually has a plan, a written plan?