Fraud Law Compliance Training Lacking

HHS to Offer Fraud/Abuse Educational Materials to Med Schools
Fraud Law Compliance Training Lacking
In light of a survey confirming that medical students aren't getting enough training on how to comply with Medicare and Medicaid laws aimed at preventing fraud and abuse, federal authorities will prepare educational materials on the subject.

Only 44 percent of 131 medical schools surveyed offer instruction on Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse laws, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General. Of the 57 schools offering training, 93 percent said the instruction took place in the classroom, but 58 percent of those said instruction was limited to about two hours or less. Forty percent of those providing training offer reading material and 25 percent provide training in a clinical setting.

Compliance training is somewhat more pervasive at hospitals and other institutions offering residency and fellowship programs.

Sixty-eight percent of 387 institutions offering these programs reported providing fraud and abuse compliance instruction. Of those offering the training, 81 percent reported conducting conferences and lectures, but half of those reported providing four hours or less of training per year. Fifty-one percent offer reading materials, 47 percent provide online training and 44 percent offer training in a clinical setting.

Compliance Education

The OIG will provide educational materials on fraud and abuse law compliance to "provide medical schools and hospitals with a consistent starting point on which to build their training programs," the new OIG report states. In refining the educational effort, OIG will seek feedback from the educational institutions on "emerging compliance challenges that physicians hospitals and other providers face."

No federal law requires medical schools and hospitals offering physician training to provide instruction on compliance with federal fraud and abuse laws, the report notes. Among the federal statutes addressing fraud and abuse are the civil False Claims Act, the anti-kickback statute and the physician self-referral statute.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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