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Lesson 13. Victoria and the Falsified Logs

People never seem to know what compliance professionals actually do. It’s very frustrating. They think we create the rules they have to follow, when in reality compliance professionals create the process of following rules others impose on them. They think compliance is all about punishment, when in reality compliance finds problems early so fewer people are punished.

Recently I visited Victoria, someone I’ve known for 10 years. I knew she worked in healthcare, but we never really talked about what I do. When I told her, she threw her head back and said, “Nooooo, you’re one of those Joint Commission guys!”

No, I am not one of those Joint Commission guys. The Joint Commission is a credentialing body for healthcare organizations and programs. If you break their rules, your healthcare organization can’t be certified by them. Certification makes these organizations and programs eligible to receive federally funded payments from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services programs. It is voluntary, but many healthcare organizations view it as essential.

“We don’t make up rules,” I told her. “We help people follow the rules and have nothing to do with The Joint Commission. You are a perfect example of how people spread misinformation about compliance professionals.”

It was obvious to me that Victoria’s organization was missing an effective compliance program.

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