Cordant Corporate Integrity Agreement: What it Means for Medical Providers
Cordant Health Solutions, a leading provider of drug testing and medication monitoring services, recently entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services` Office of Inspector General (OIG). The agreement was reached after an investigation revealed potential violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law by Cordant and its subsidiaries.
So, what does this mean for medical providers who work with Cordant? And what can be learned from this case?
First, it`s important to understand what a CIA is and how it works. A CIA is a legally binding agreement between a company and the government that outlines specific actions the company must take to ensure compliance with federal healthcare program requirements. In Cordant`s case, the CIA requires the implementation of a robust compliance program, hiring an independent review organization to monitor compliance, and providing training and education to employees.
For medical providers who work with Cordant, this means they can be more confident in the company`s commitment to compliance. Cordant is now required to provide regular reports to the government detailing their compliance efforts, which can help build trust with healthcare providers.
However, it`s also a reminder to healthcare providers that they too must take compliance seriously. Violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law can result in hefty fines and even exclusion from federal healthcare programs. It`s important for providers to work with reputable companies and to have their own compliance programs in place.
In addition, the Cordant case highlights the importance of communication and transparency. The OIG conducted its investigation based on a qui tam lawsuit filed by a former employee of Cordant`s subsidiary, Sterling Healthcare Services. The lawsuit alleged that Cordant and Sterling paid unlawful kickbacks to physicians in exchange for referrals. Had Cordant been more transparent with its employees about the potential risks of such practices and had a system in place for reporting suspected unlawful activity, the company may have been able to address the issue before it became a legal matter.
Overall, the Cordant CIA serves as a reminder of the importance of compliance in healthcare and the potential consequences of violations. Medical providers should take precautions to ensure they are partnering with compliant companies and implementing their own compliance programs to protect their patients and their businesses.