4 considerations for hiring a Medicare compliance consultant: Cost
By Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen

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This is the second of a four-part series.
INDUSTRY PULSE

Do you think your clinic is compliant?
  • 1. Yes
  • 2. No


Drafting a compliance plan and conducting self-audits are definite must-dos; however, you may eventually find your clinic in a situation that requires absolute expertise. Yes, an in-house compliance officer is ideal, but many small- to mid-sized clinics simply cannot afford to staff someone full-time. Thus, you may want to consider a consultant. Of course, it's crucial you're selective. Here are four things to consider before hiring a Medicare compliance consultant:

Credentials

Cost

According to PT Compliance Group, while compliance is an expense, noncompliance — think audits, penalties and loss of business — is far more costly. And compliance creates sustainability:
"You become known for your business integrity, and you gain a high level of respect from community members, patients and referral sources. Your employees give you their complete loyalty because they trust that you have their long-term best interest in mind. You build a culture within your practice that is confidently compliant, billing for everything you do with confidence knowing that your systems are in place to ensure that your level of billing is justified. And you receive the priceless benefit of great sleep knowing your conscience is clear."
As I stated in my introduction, hiring a consultant can be more cost-effective than employing a dedicated, in-house compliance officer. For consultants, fees typically depend on clinic size, and once they help you achieve your compliance goals, the contracted work is complete. So how does your clinic handle that fee (whatever it may be)? PT Compliance Group says to not think of compliance as a cost: "In your gut right now, if you don't feel that your culture is confidently compliant, then you are experiencing lost [opportunities]. Compliance should be your number one investment in taking your practice from good to great. Think of compliance as an investment in your business, not a cost."

Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen are senior writers at WebPT, cloud-based EMR software designed specifically for the rehab community.