On January 31, 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) and the Health Care Compliance Association (“HCCA”) released a repor(http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/docs/complianceguidance/Roundtable013007.pdf) entitled, “Driving for Quality in Long-Term Care: A Board of Directors Dashboard.” The OIG’s focus is preserving governmental health programs and operations by “protecting them against fraud, waste, and abuse” through a nationwide network of audits, investigations and inspections. Accordingly, when the OIG issues a report involving the long-term care industry, facilities should take notice.
Boards of directors at long term care facilities face challenging issues maintaining quality of care
and compliance with fraud and abuse laws and regulations. These challenges can be compounded by the high expectations of the governmental regulatory and enforcement community. To openly discuss these issues and potential management tools for improvement, the OIG and HCCA convened a roundtable discussion for industry representatives and enforcement officials on December 6, 2007. While the report, which summarizes these discussions, falls short of being official government “guidance,” its publication by the OIG should be viewed as a reflection of the agency’s enthusiasm for the roundtable discussion process and its results.
The roundtable broke into four subgroups: (1) commitment to quality; (2) processes related to monitoring and improving quality of care; (3) outcome measures for quality of care; and (4)challenges and opportunities in using a management tool (called “Quality of Care Dashboard”). For each subgroup, the report summarized the discussions and outlined areas of general consensus.
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