Why Have a Compliance Hotline?
While many different organizations are required to have a compliance hotline by federal agencies such as the SEC and Medicare, having an internal whistleblowing system is the new standard for ethical compliance. Providing employees with an anonymous and confidential outlet to report unethical behavior can now make or break your organization. Currently, 53% of all fraud tips are coming from employees within the victim organization. Without an internal whistleblowing system, employees have no choice but to turn to an external whistleblowing system (i.e. SEC, FDA, OIG) which can quickly turn into something much more serious.
More importantly, a compliance hotline serves as the cornerstone for an ethically responsible culture within an organization. At ComplianceHotline we believe that it is time for organizations to embrace ethical responsibility. Organizations can no longer turn a blind eye to unethical business practices, sexual harassment, or any other form of hostility within the workplace. By offering a compliance hotline, your organization shows that they are dedicated to creating an ethically responsible culture within your organization which consistently results in the hiring of better employees and the conducting of better business.
Examples of Organizations That Need Hotlines?For a number of different reasons, almost every type of organization needs a hotline. Compliance and ethical business practices should be a cornerstone for all organizations. But here are some examples of why organizations need hotlines:
- Fraud Risks. If your company is at any risk of internal fraud, then you need to give your employees the tools to report it. If there aren’t encourage internal whistleblowing systems in place than a small fraud issue can quickly snowball into something much costlier.
- Prioritizing Compliance. If your organization is at all Federally or State regulated, then ensuring compliance among your staff should be a top priority. By having a compliance hotline, you can ensure that your employees feel comfortable directing any compliance concerns within your organization rather than an external whistleblowing system.
- School Systems and Student Safety. Unfortunately, in today’s world, student safety has become one of the largest concerns in the United States. By having a third party, yet internal, whistleblowing system students, parents, or teachers can direct their concerns regarding inappropriate relationships, threats to student safety, or whatever their concern might be to administration while remaining anonymous.
- Workplace Harassment The #Metoo movement has finally brought much deserved attention to a serious issue in the American workplace. Sexual harassment will not and should not ever be tolerated in the workplace or outside of it. With a hotline, victims of harassment can report these issues anonymously and confidentially before they get worse.
- Publicly Traded Companies. Since the passing of Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002, it has become required for publically traded companies to have an established whistleblowing hotline.
- Counties and Municipalities. Within many counties and municipalities, budgets can be tight. By having a compliance hotline you can feel safe knowing that you have provided a whistleblowing system for employees and residents to report any misuse of funding.
Can Compliance Hotlines Save Money?
Recent studies have shown that by having a compliance hotline, organizations can save themselves money in numerous ways:
- Internal fraud within an organization can cost an organization millions. By providing a platform for employees to report fraud, these issues can be dealt with internally and quicker than if the problems were allowed to grow out of control.
- Reports to external whistleblowing systems often result in costly litigation. By encouraging employees to report issues within their organization, outside agencies usually do not become aware of the issues allowing internal management to deal with them without the cost of dealing with an investigation and legal fees.
- Compliance Hotlines are associated with fewer lawsuits being filed against the organization and smaller settlement amounts. By dealing with harassment issues immediately when they start, an organization can find a solution quicker and easier before the issue builds into something costly and more difficult to deal with.
By using a compliance hotline your organization could potentially save itself millions from protecting itself from costly litigation and becoming the victim of fraud.
Why let the pressure build-up internally within your organization? There is an easier way to enable open lines of communication.
Our mission is to enable open lines of communications so you can address the risks earlier in the cycle before your employees, clients, or others have a need to report elsewhere. Compliance hotline is a service provided by Exclusion Screening, LLC. Founded by well known healthcare attorneys Robert Liles and Paul Weidenfeld we serve clients across the United States.
Our confidential report line system provides a cost-effective report line alternative to the often impersonal, expensive, commercial report line systems. Unlike a number of the companies now servicing the industry, ComplianceHotline was designed by former Federal prosecutors with extensive compliance experience.
Our service provides several ways for employees, contractors, vendors, patients, and their families to report potential violations of an organization’s ethical, regulatory, or legal obligations. These reports are confidential and reporting individuals may choose to identify themselves or remain anonymous. Once a report is made, it is forwarded to the appropriate compliance professional designated by a sponsoring HR representative or supplier organization. Options for making a report include:
- Web-based reporting option: An individual can conveniently file a report directly from our simple to use web based reporting application. Individuals filing a web-based report may identify themselves or may make an anonymous report.
- Fax-based reporting option: A ComplianceHotline incident report form is included on our website and may be printed for completion at a later time.
- Mail-based reporting option: Our incident report form may be sent by a concerned party directly to ComplianceHotline by mail.
- E-Mail-based reporting option: Incident details may be sent by a concerned party directly to ComplianceHotline by e-mail.
- Toll-free telephone report line option: ComplianceHotline maintains and operates a live, compliance hotline reporting service. Unlike many of our competitors, we do not subcontract this aspect of our hotline services to a commercial answering services operating out of a foreign country. Our hotline calls are answered by trained compliance personnel in Washington, DC.
- Confidential. Information reported is only accessible to authorized client management personnel who have a need to follow up on the incidents reported.
- Anonymous. When the information is reported anonymously, the user can follow up to get updates on the progress while remaining anonymous. The user decides the level of detail in the information they report.
- Secure. Data security is of the utmost importance to us. The reported data is encrypted and the systems and online interfaces use a secure connection using SSL.
- Easy to access. We strive to provide simple and easy to use reporting capabilities and management functions.
Our hotline services are affordable and effective. Health care providers and suppliers are required to comply with ever-increasing regulatory obligations, despite the fact that reimbursements from both governmental and private payors are continuing to fall. We have designed ComplianceHotline to provide an inexpensive yet effective way to learn and address an employee’s concern as soon as possible, thereby reducing the likelihood of a whistleblower suit under the False Claims Act. Similarly, ComplianceHotline can provide an avenue of communication for patient concerns directly with your organization, rather than channel a dissatisfied patient to file a complaint with your state’s medical board or with federal and state law enforcement.