San Antonio, Texas - March 11, 2011 -- Practice Management Institute (PMI) this month completed its first graduating class of Certified Medical Compliance Officers. Candidates from around the country attended classes sponsored by Texas Health Resources' at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
The CMCO certification from PMI is designed for small to mid-size practice professionals, physician practices, home health agencies, hospices, community mental health center, DME and third party billing companies. It is a complete resource for those serious about expanding their compliance aptitude.
Compliance expertise is the future of healthcare and the next five years are critical. In a recent Regional Health Care Fraud Prevention Summit, held in Los Angeles, Department of Justice Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed a number of ongoing concerns and remedial steps that are being taken to identify, investigate and prosecute instances of Medicare fraud. In addition to these agency heads, Summit participants learned of current and additional planned fraud enforcement initiatives from Federal and State law enforcement officials.
No longer can physicians and other health care providers rely on staff with a basic skill set to safeguard the practice from audits and investigations. Now is the time to take control of your practice. "For many years, PMI Certified Professionals have urged us to produce a Compliance Officer certification. Our hesitancy in developing this credential was based completely on ensuring that it meets the highest standard, said Douglas W. O'Dell, President and CEO of Practice Management Institute. "As educators, we feel strongly about focusing on areas of core competency."
Robert W. Liles J.D., MBA, MHA, formerly of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Liles heads the Washington D.C. based legal team that has developed and maintains the curriculum and examination protocols for PMI's CMCO certification. His significant expertise has been critical on this important project, created specifically for compliance professionals in small to medium sized physician practices, home health agencies, hospices, DME companies. Notably, it is also well suited for community mental health clinics, third-party billing companies, and other non-hospital health care environments.
"It's no longer a question of whether or not a practice will be audited by a third party - it's a matter of when it will be audited," said Liles. "The government is serious about fraud and overpayments and you should be, too."
With Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) audits and site visits occurring around the country, medical practices and other small-mid sized health care providers must immediately take steps to better ensure that their practices fully comply with statutory and regulatory requirements. This is especially important now that Medicare (and, most recently, Medicaid) Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) are expanding the scope of their reviews. The clock is ticking. Each day that passes without an effective compliance plan places health care offices at greater risk of staggering fines, penalties or even criminal liability.
A Compliance Officer protects the long-term viability of the practice. Those individuals that invest the time and effort to secure the CMCO credential not only provide an invaluable service to their provider, but also greatly enhance their long-term professional value.
The CMCO credential provides a means of currency to demonstrate to others a higher level of knowledge and experience in managing the compliance process. The class consists of over thirty hours of classroom time with experts on the leading edge of compliance planning and management in healthcare today. This class represents a tremendous amount of information that is systematically presented to in five classroom days.
This month's inaugural CMCO class gained a body of knowledge that few others in medical practice management have attained. Candidates took a four-hour exam in which they were required to demonstrate a high level of compliance competency.
"The result will be an enhanced ability to understand how to develop, implement, and manage a complete Compliance Program. These skills provide a launching pad for continued growth in their professional development," said O'Dell.
PMI is the training and credentialing source for medical office professionals in the U.S. For more than 25 years, physicians and their staff have looked to PMI for skills that contribute to a more efficient, profitable and compliant office. Programs are currently presented in partnership with hundreds of the nation’s leading hospitals, health care systems, colleges and medical societies. For more information, visit www.pmiMD.com or call 800-259-5562.