Girl Scout Cookies and Compliance?

 Girl Scout Cookies  & Healthcare Compliance????

As I was devouring a box of the Savannah Smiles (lemon cookies…) I read the Girl Scout Cookie Program on the side of the box.  Many of the same skills that the Girl Scout leaders instill in our youth are pertinent to our healthcare compliance programs.

 The 5 skills fit into similar categories of the Healthcare Compliance Elements.
1. Girl Scouts: Goal Setting
 Compliance: Implementing Policies and Procedures (implementation of the goals!) All of the 7 Elements are goals that need to be implemented! Or… Per the ACA- now mandated. Perhaps look at this CMS/OIG ACA Getting Started PDF.  

2. Girl Scouts: Decision Making
Compliance: Responding promptly to detected problems and undertaking corrective action (making the decision to take action!) When we identify non-compliance we should take action to prevent it from reoccurring – Right?

3. Girl Scouts: Money Management
Compliance: Conducting internal monitoring and auditing. Protecting the money the entity earns and returning money that does not belong to you. Also preschool lesson number 1 - along with tying shoes!

4. Girl Scouts:  People Skills
Compliance: Developing effective lines of communication (analytics are good… communications skills are even better!) When was the last time you asked a co-worker at your facility “how are you doing? Need any help? Notice anything wrong that you want to talk about?”  Compliance does not have to be used as a scare tactic! We need to be approachable. Remember “We” are the Good Guys!

5. Girl Scouts: Business Ethics
Compliance: How many times do you think the word Ethics is mentioned in the 2016 Federal Sentencing Guidelines? Any guesses?  Here is the link:   Ethics and Code of Conduct is the base of every good compliance program. If your program is only pretty on paper…. The employees know it is only for show. If the leaders of the entity do not follow the compliance rules then why would the employees feel compliance is meant for them? Make your compliance program a REAL living program that rewards employees for doing what is right. Girl Scouts get badgeswhen was the last “badge” that you gave out to an employee for doing what was right in your compliance program? Awards do not have to be expensive… but the rewards of a good compliance program could save your company millions!

Now I am going to buy the thin mint cookies to see if it has the same message on the side of that box. Consistency is also part of all good compliance programs!

I hope you join me and the other panelist when we present at the HCCA National Conference on Sunday March 26th (National Harbor.)  I will also present at the ACFE Global Conference on Tuesday June 20th (Nashville) on the topic of Healthcare Compliance.

Jacqueline Bloink, MBA, RHIA, CHC, CFE, CPC-I/CPC, CMRS – Pro Compliance and Anti-Fraud Specialist

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