Friday, February 6, 2015 12:00 AM

Hospital system's ethical leadership praised

Community Medical Centers’ Compliance and Ethics Program earned a full three-year certification from Health Ethics Trust after an on-site visit and extensive review of policies, procedures and other documents.

“The senior leadership of Community and its compliance program staff were clearly regarded as the greatest strengths of the program in the eyes of all the reviewers,” said Mark Pastin, PhD, president of Health Ethics Trust. Pastin also praised Community’s volunteer Board of Trustees, who help oversee the non-profit, locally owned hospital network, for their interest and involvement in the compliance certification review.

“Our goal is to make compliance program certification a mark that the public can rely upon in judging the honesty and integrity of the organization,” said Pastin. “We are very proud of Community for having attained this certification.”

Community’s senior vice president and chief audit, ethics and compliance officer, Debra A. Muscio, MBA, CHC, CCE, CFE, said she was pleased to be part of the team that helped achieve such recognition for Community. “We will continue to build awareness in ways that reinforce not just specific rules and regulations, but an overall culture of ethics and compliance,” said Muscio.

Health Ethics Trust was formed in 1995 by the Council of Ethical Organizations, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting ethical and legal conduct in business, government and the professions. It was formed in response to growing ethics and compliance concerns in healthcare as a way to assist healthcare organizations committed to ethical and legal conduct through educational programs, research and shared best practices. Membership of Health Ethics Trust include hospitals, physician groups, insurance payers and plans, home care agencies, medical suppliers, and pharmaceutical companies.

Healthcare organizations such as Community are regularly inspected and must comply with regulations of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Since its 1976 establishment, the OIG has worked to fight waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and more than 300 other federal healthcare programs.

Reported by Erin Kennedy. She can be reached at MedWatchToday@CommunityMedical.org.