How to Juggle Medicare and Medicaid Compliance in a Fluid Regulatory Landscape

Do you treat patients insured by Medicaid or Medicare at your hospital? While participation is voluntary for for-profit healthcare systems, accepting Medicaid and Medicare patients is a condition of federal tax exemption for non-profits. Currently, Medicare and Medicaid account for more than 60 percent of care provided by hospitals making it nearly impossible for healthcare systems to forgo these programs.

So, if the stark reality is that you must participate, compliance becomes an issue. And it’s complex. Especially for hospitals that have multiple outpatient locations and inpatient campuses. Under Medicare provider-based rules, it’s not possible to certify just part of the system. When you consider there’s nearly a 500-page certification process, it’s clear that it’s crucial to have effective compliance tracking.

An effective compliance program is multi-faceted and includes monitoring and auditing, legal reviews of procedures and contracts, reporting mechanisms as well as training for employees. Healthcare systems are multi-faceted too with labs, pharmacies, rehabilitation centers, clinics, surgery centers and more. Keeping on top of compliance not only to effectively report but to identify and then prevent misconduct before it balloons into a much bigger problem is anything but easy.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has attempted to streamline information into quarterly updates for providers, suppliers and the public. While this helps curate the information and updates to regulations, management and oversight of compliance and putting these regs into practice represents an enormous task for each healthcare system. The distance between knowing and doing can be vast when providers are juggling regulations alongside providing quality patient care. Maintaining oversight of not just the Medicare and Medicaid federal regulations, but compliance with other state and local regulations is required.

The regulatory landscape continues to be muddled with additional requirements to safeguard privacy and to fight fraud and abuse today. Since governing bodies are vigilant about fighting fraud, your compliance process needs to be tight or you’ll risk criminal charges, fines and even the possibility of losing licenses. Every state has its own Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), typically as part of the State Attorney General’s office. When your compliance tracking system is thorough, the auditing process and working with your MFCU becomes simpler.

Streamline Compliance Tracking

If your hospital is juggling Medicare and Medicaid payment compliance along with all the other mandates and reporting requirements, it can easily get overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Solutions such as youCompli’s compliance system monitors and translates Medicare and Medicaid regulations for easier understanding. Then, it helps you track and oversee your hospital’s compliance.

If you’re ready to take the headache out of Medicare and Medicaid compliance, it’s time to see what a compliance management system can do for you. Schedule a call today where you can see how our risk management software can support your healthcare system’s compliance program.