Becoming a Compliance Professional
Considering a move outside of a traditional therapy career path? You’re not alone.
Many clinicians find themselves craving new challenges beyond hands-on patient care. Luckily, plenty of non-clinical roles are perfect for therapy professionals. One of the best alternative jobs for therapists is the role of compliance professional.
What Is a Compliance Professional?
A compliance professional works for an organization or facility to ensure that all operations are legally sound and adhere to the laws of that particular industry. In the case of healthcare, handling compliance matters can be quite the responsibility, which is why larger companies often have compliance teams (although smaller organizations can usually get away with one person managing compliance matters).
Healthcare compliance professionals might be responsible for any of the following:
- Conducting internal monitoring and auditing
- Implementing compliance and practice standards
- Designating and training additional compliance professionals
- Responding appropriately to detected offenses
- Developing and enforcing corrective actions
- Maintaining open lines of communication with employees
- Developing and updating important documents
- Conforming to regulations like OSHA, HIPAA, Stark, Anti-Kickback, and the False Claims Act
- Staying up to date with changes in industry regulations
Why Do Therapy Professionals Make Great Compliance Professionals?
Therapists are used to following rules. We’re familiar with dotting each i and crossing every t, and we understand the importance of defensible documentation.
Many therapists tend to stay in patient care for the duration of our careers. This is great if we’re physically and emotionally equipped and also wish to do so, but for those who are looking for something new, our conscientious and industrious personalities are an ideal fit for roles that involve a great deal of integrity and attention to detail.
There is also quite a bit of career growth in a compliance career track, opening doors to opportunities that therapists might not access otherwise.
What Type of Person Is Best for a Compliance Role?
Compliance is an especially good fit for therapists who have assisted with preparations for The Joint Committee (TJC) visits or have completed chart review. It’s a great option for people who work best when following and adhering to rules and are comfortable both training others on how to follow rules and following protocol if they fail to do so.
Some compliance roles involve creating processes and systems, so organized types will work best in these roles.
Do Compliance Professionals Need Any Specific Training?
Compliance roles often require a clinical license as well as a bachelor’s degree. Many roles require in-depth knowledge of FIMS, PAIs, OSHA, HIPAA, and coding. It’s also highly recommended to be comfortable using MS Office, as most compliance roles involve a significant amount of office and administrative work.
If you’d like to become an attractive candidate for compliance roles, these MedBridge courses are a great choice:
- Building a Compliance Program
- Fraud, Waste, and Abuse: Fundamentals of Compliance in Home Health and Hospice
- Medicare Qualifying Criteria & Recertification Requirements: Part 1
Plan to also explore any of the 100+ other compliance courses on MedBridge!
You might also find that additional certifications help you with landing a compliance role. Two of the most recognizable ones in the field are:
- CPHQ—Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
- CPHRM—Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management
What if I’m Not Sure Compliance Is Right for Me?
The best thing you can do is get experience while you’re still in a clinical role. When TJC is planning to come to your facility, offer to join (or form) the internal task force to prepare for the visit. Volunteer to perform chart audits and meet with your supervisor to discuss your interest in compliance. Take as many courses as possible to discover whether the content interests you.
If you’re a natural-born rule follower and you inherently enjoy using your talents and skills to protect your organization, don’t rule out a career in compliance––it just might be the best next step for you!