[ Tuesday, May 31, 2011 ]


Liability for Corporate Officers: A couple of my partners and I spoke to one of our hospital clients recently, addressing aboug 250 staff members for a compliance primer and overview. One part of the presentation, about current enforcement activity by the OIG and Department of Justice, caught the attention of pretty much everyone in the room: the government's latest tactic of going after the corporate officers directly. The theory is sometimes called the Responsible Corporate Officer doctrine. A corporate officer can be personally held liable for criminal activity of his company, even if he didn't know about the wrongdoing, if he could have or should have known and failed to find out and stop it. There are several high-profile cases going on right now; even though the corporate officers may settle for a small fine, the OIG will follow up and exclude them from participating in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. This can leave people who build a multi-year career in healthcare virtually unemployable in their profession, simply because someone in their company broke the law and they failed to detect and stop it.

Obviously, there's a HIPAA connection here. We haven't seen this theory yet in any HIPAA enforcement activities, but there are criminal liabilities for HIPAA violations. That means a corporate officer could face criminal charges if his company violates HIPAA, and any guilty plea, even as part of a plea bargain, might be the end of that executive's career.

Just a little something to keep in mind.

Jeff [4:44 PM]

Comments: Post a Comment
http://www.blogger.com/template-edit.g?blogID=3380636 Blogger: HIPAA Blog - Edit your Template