Friday, October 30, 2015

The Legal Audit: A 10 Step Checklist for Your Healthcare Practice

10 Step Checklist for Your Healthcare Practice
Heathcare Practice
Legal Checklist

Medical practices are always preaching preventative medicine to their patients. They can be well-advised to practice their own legal preventative medicine through an internal audit of the legal issues involving the practice. Dealing with these issues now rather than when a problem arises will save time, money and stress. According to attorney Charles E. Rosolio, P.A., at www.rosoliolaw.com, the following is a good checklist that all medical practices should follow when conducting an internal legal audit:
  1. Employment agreements. It is always good to examine all employment contracts to make sure that they are up to date, have not expired or are not outdated by actual practice and implementation. Confirm that there is consistency throughout the practice on all aspects of the terms and conditions of employment.
  2. Contracts with health care providers. Check to see that the practice is in compliance, that the other contracting party is in compliance and all terms and conditions are being met. Pay particular attention to the renewals and termination scenarios to avoid unintended results. 
  3. Compliance with healthcare regulations (HIPAA, Stark, Fraud and abuse). With the ever-changing landscape of health care regulations, examine all current arrangements to insure continued compliance. Examine written contracts and also review implementation to insure that the actual practice is consistent with current regulations.
  4. Policy manual and employment manuals. Insure that such manuals are up-to-date and compliant with actual practice as well as current law. This is an evolving process and an inconsistent or out-of-date manual can spell trouble later. This includes social media policies, a key element with any policy or employment manual.
  5. Reporting requirements for lenders and financial institutions. Examine the reporting requirements in any loan documents to lenders to make sure that the practice is in compliance and has provided all that is required under loan or line of credit agreements with such institutions. 
  6. Corporate documents up to date. Make sure that the governing documents of the practice are up to date. If the practice is a professional corporation or some other type of entity that requires the preparation of minutes on at least an annual basis, attend to these requirements. Work with the practice’s tax advisors to insure that whatever needs to be reflected for purpose of tax compliance has been addressed. 
  7. Contracts with service providers. Review these on a regular basis. Many times, they will have termination requirements and automatic renewals that should not be ignored. Better terms can sometimes be obtained with a long-standing vendor.
  8. Insurance issues, particularly with malpractice carriers. Coverage and compliance requirements should be examined on a regular basis to make sure that the practice is adequately covered.
  9. Review of significant contracts. If there are any other significant contracts not outlined above, they should be reviewed for the same issues as discussed.
  10. Polling for potential claims among group members. Check with the practice physicians to see if there are any potential claims that may be present or percolating so that they may be addressed early and properly. 
Do not hesitate to involve your legal professionals in an internal audit. They can identify issues that may not be identified by a non-lawyer and can offer advice before the issue becomes a real problem.

For more information or guidance, contact:
Charles E. Rosolio
1 Olympic Place, Suite 900 | Towson, MD 21204
Office: 410.576.8912 | Mobile: 410.949.6666
Fax: 410.576.8999
crosolio@rosoliolaw.com