There were organizational ethical leadership problems that resulted in Columbia/HCA’s misconduct. They were focused more on profits. Leadership allowed and/or asked billing to overcharge Medicare and other federal programs. They paid doctor’s to sign off on records that a patient had a specific procedure even though they did not. They used a “patient dumping” system or released patients to other hospitals even though they were not in stable condition. And they minimized training from what is supposed to be 6 months to 2 weeks.
There is much strength to HCA’s current ethics program. They hired Alan Yuspeh as the senior executive to oversee ethical compliance. They hired 500 employees as facility ethics and compliance offers. Employees had training seminars and programs, certification tests for the employees for billing codes, made sure that new employees would be take ethical training, enforced punishment and had a 24 hour number to call to report any wrongdoing. By doing the above they did follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations. This has made them very successful, they were even the first corporation to be removed from the INFACT. However, they did not follow the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. They left out financial performance. They should have added that as more companies are.
HCA could put in financial performance in their code. Especially because that’s where the problem area of all this stemmed from. It would benefit them to add Ethical Auditing because it will help them to continue to educate themselves on current ethical issues and education. It will also prevent crises resulting from ethical or legal misconduct. Another idea for HCA would be to use a balance scorecard to balance out all areas of HCA.
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