Share This Post

New report advises against foreign medical contractors

April 17, 2014
Compliance By LW Consulting Inc.

Seeking outside sources to assist in administrative tasks for your practice might be necessary, but it's equally important to only work with professionals who are reliable and compatible with your health facility. According to a report from Brian Ritchie of the Office of the Inspector General, this may mean that medical practitioners stick specifically to domestic companies

In a letter to Marilyn Tavenner of the Centers for Medicare and  Medicaid Services, Ritchie pointed out the potential for problems that can arise when Medicaid professionals outsource tasks to companies that aren't based in the United States. Of the 56 Medicaid agencies, nine were found to "have requirements allowing offshore outsourcing with very few limitations," and only 15 address the issue at all.

While the nine agencies have differing policies regarding the kinds of outsourcing that can be undertaken, these institutions, which span states from Massachusetts to Florida, all allow what the report calls "indirect outsourcing" and none of them address Protected Health Information.

"Although some countries may have privacy protections greater than those in the United States, other countries may have limited or no privacy protections," Ritchie writes, although he also writes that there were no specific recommendations to be given.

Another issue that can arise with these services can lie in whether or not they treat their own staff fairly to begin with. The Kentucky firm that the Lexington Herald-Leader recently profiled may be based in the United States, but many of its employees claim that it withheld millions of dollars from them over a period of nine years, now they are attempting to sue. 

All this shows that when it comes to an outside firm (including a hospital consultant or other consulting service, those that provide the best legal practices must be sought out.