8 Tips to Consider When Opting for Compliance Training Webinars
The OIG compliance guidance documents reserve a separate section to address “Conducting Effective Training and Education,” wherein the OIG states: “The proper education and training…and the continual retraining of current personnel at all levels, are significant elements of an effective compliance program.” The guidance continues by noting, “at a minimum, comprehensive compliance programs should include…development and implementation of regular, effective education and training programs for all affected employees…The compliance officer’s primary responsibilities should include…developing, coordinating, and participating in a multifaceted educational and training program that focuses on the elements of the compliance program, and seeks to ensure that all appropriate employees and management are knowledgeable of, and comply with, pertinent Federal and State standards.”
The OIG recommends that initial compliance training conducted for all employees is sufficient enough to ensure that employees understand all aspects of the compliance program. Additionally, specialized training should be provided in high-risk areas such as billing and coding, conducting internal investigations, evaluating physician arrangements, and providing updates on new laws and regulations.
There are a number of different methods to deliver training. By far, the most effective training programs are live, interactive programs provided by expert facilitators. Organizations that want to use their own internal staff to deliver compliance training frequently encounter the problem of ensuring adequate credibility and sufficient knowledge on the subject. Rather than creating in-house training, one alternative is for organizations to hire outside professionals with compliance expertise and experience to conduct training programs. Utilizing outside professionals is the most effective means to delivering high quality compliance training; however, it can be the most expensive. The added cost of hiring an outside training professional includes the professional’s time and effort to develop the training program and travel onsite to deliver the training. These added costs are often too high for organizations. As a result, organizations tend to fall back on less expensive and less effective means for compliance training. There is, however, a third approach that ensures live, high quality training: live webinar training programs delivered by compliance professionals.
Delivering Compliance Education and Training Through Webinars
Webinars bring the experts to you without the cost of travel. Jillian Bower, Vice President of the Compliance Resource Center, which provides specialized webinar trainings, notes: “The cost of webinar training can vary considerably. There are many subscription services that provide generic webinar programs at little or no cost. However, it is important that the program selected is not an ‘infomercial’ that merely provides a large number of slides lacking substantive information needed to properly train staff. The value of webinar training comes from specialized education programs. Specialized commercial webinars generally cost between $200 and $500 per participating site. These programs are typically more in-depth and provide information not readily available elsewhere, such as regulatory and legal updates in regard to ICD-10, arrangements involving referral sources, and how to conduct internal investigations.”
Suzanne Castaldo, JD, a healthcare compliance consultant that frequently organizes webinar training, offers tips for those considering webinar based education programs in compliance:
- Find webinars that will address your organization’s needs.
- If a webinar charges per site, calculate the cost per person by dividing the webinar’s registration fee by the number of expected participants.
- Recognize that the more narrow and complex the topic, the more costly the subscription fee may be.
- Seek programs providing continuing education credit as they will likely provide higher quality training.
- Look at the history, credibility, and subject matter expertise of those presenting the program.
- Aim for interactive webinars where the presenters interact with participants and respond to clarifying questions.
- Note whether the webinar permits the use of presentation slides for future in-house training without added cost.
- Look for webinars that provide take away premiums creating added value, such as sample policies and protocols.