Woman reading book secretly

November 5, 2018


1. Post a selfie of you and your patient with #WorkVibes

Scenario: Keep people up to date with what’s going on at work. Post a selfie of you and a patient to show off the great progress they’ve made and some of the amazing people you meet every day.

Reality: Posting photos of patients online is a major HIPAA violation. If you’re looking to break a top compliance rule, this the way to go.

2. Accept the handmade scarf from your patient

Scenario: Your thoughtful patient hands you a beautiful, intricate handmade scarf – and in your favorite color! It’s obvious they worked so hard on it. It’s rude to turn it down, right?

Reality: As sweet as the gesture is, accepting gifts from patients and clients is a big compliance no-no. It’s considered a conflict of interest, meaning it’s personal gain based on your employment. Kindly turn down any gifts (unless, of course, you’re trying to break the top compliance rules).

3. Overcharge for your above and beyond services

Scenario: You put in extra work to help a patient. It took lots of research and long hours on your part. You believe your diligent work deserves more money and charge the patient to match what you believe is fair.

Reality: No matter how above and beyond you go, it’s considered abuse (aka misuse of services) to overcharge for services or supplies. You can also break this compliance guideline by charging for unnecessary items or services and charging patients who don’t have the appropriate clinical documentation required before billing.

Millions of health care dollars are wasted because of fraud, waste, and – you got it – abuse. Looking to break a major compliance guideline? This one’s hard to beat.

4. Leave your computer unlocked (after all, you trust your coworkers)

Scenario: You’re just going to the bathroom for a minute. There’s no one else around but a few of your most trusted coworkers. Seeing no reason to lock your computer, you leave it open and exit the room.

Reality: Leaving an unlocked computer for a moment seems so innocent – until you think about what that means. Healthcare workers have sensitive information stored on their computers. If anyone – whether it is another patient or a coworker – gets access to that sensitive information, you’ve just scored yourself a HIPAA violation.

Protected Health Information is a on a need-to-know basis. If you’re looking to break this top compliance guideline, never update your passwords, or better yet, don’t have a password at all. Follow this rule (and keep your job) by locking your computers to protect this private information.

5. Let everyone else break compliance guidelines

Scenario: Whatever happens in other areas of the company doesn’t affect you. You just let everything run its course.

Reality: You are key to ensuring safety and compliance in the workplace. If you see something, say something.

Do you know how to report concerns?

You cannot be retaliated against for reporting any compliance concerns. It’s against the law for a company to do so, and individuals have the option to report anonymously. Report any claims to your supervisor, compliance leader, or directly to the Federal Department of Justice.

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