Com­pli­ance of­fi­cers get stressed,

Modern Healthcare - - MODERN HEALTHCARE -

Amer­ica’s hospi­tal com­pli­ance de­part­ments are staffed by stressed-out pro­fes­sion­als who of­ten jerk awake at night from the anx­i­ety of mon­i­tor­ing all of their em­ploy­ers’ prob­lems and po­ten­tial prob­lems. And it turns out they’re tired of it.

A sur­vey of com­pli­ance of­fi­cials con­ducted last Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber, and re­leased this month, found that 58% re­ported wak­ing up fre­quently at night and wor­ry­ing about “job-re­lated stress.” An al­most equal num­ber, 60%, re­ported hav­ing con­sid­ered leav­ing their jobs in the past year be­cause of the anx­i­ety, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey from the Health Care Com­pli­ance As­so­ci­a­tion.

Roy Snell, the CEO of the HCCA in Min­neapo­lis, said it makes sense when con­sid­ered in the larger con­text.

Com­pli­ance de­part­ments were lit­er­ally cre­ated as places to han­dle the prob­lems that no one else pre­vi­ously wanted to take on, such as de­ter­min­ing whether an em­ployee or an ex­ec­u­tive has bro­ken the law, and what to do about it, in an era when reg­u­la­tors are be­com­ing more puni­tive than ever be­fore, he says.

“I hap­pen to be­lieve that this is one of the big­gest crises in the in­dus­try at the mo­ment,” Snell says. “I defy some­one to tell me dif­fer­ently: Health­care is the most fined in­dus­try in the his­tory of the Earth.”

The his­tory of the Earth? Hmmm. Out­liers would won­der whether some NFL teams, let alone the tour buses of Lil’ Wayne or the Rolling Stones, could com­pete, at least on a per-capita ba­sis for the ti­tle of Most Fined.

But we have yet to see the stats.

Now that’s sticker shock

Imag­ine the sur­prise of one New York res­i­dent who opened a hospi­tal bill and saw he was be­ing charged $44.8 mil­lion for a three-week hospi­tal stay to treat pneu­mo­nia.

Alexis Ro­driguez told the New York Daily News that he called the Bronx-le­banon Hospi­tal Cen­ter’s billing firm and dis­cov­ered that the in­voice num­ber had been en­tered into the ‘amount due’ field. “I al­most had an asthma at­tack,” Ro­driguez re­port­edly said. Ro­driguez’s bill was not the only one with a mis­take. The Daily News re­ported that calls to the billing com­pany are an­swered with a record­ing telling peo­ple to dis­re­gard billing state­ments for ser­vices pro­vided at the Bronx hospi­tal.

Some bro­ken hearts land you in the hospi­tal

A per­son re­ally can die of a bro­ken heart, or at least the risk of a heart at­tack in­creases by roughly 21 times within 24 hours for a per­son who loses a loved one.

A study found that a per­son’s risk of heart at­tack re­mains el­e­vated for at least a month af­ter los­ing a loved one al­though the risk slowly de­clines as time passes. The study, which was pub­lished this month in Cir­cu­la­tion, was con­ducted by re­searchers at Beth Is­rael Dea­coness Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Bos­ton.

“Some peo­ple would say a ‘bro­ken heart’ re­lated to the grief re­sponse is what leads to these phys­i­o­logic changes,” Dr. Mur­ray Mit­tle­man, a physi­cian at Beth Is­rael Dea­coness’ Car­dio­vas­cu­lar In­sti­tute and the study’s se­nior au­thor, said in a news re­lease.

The re­searchers also noted that so­cial sup­port for some­one dur­ing a griev­ing pe­riod may mit­i­gate the risk of a heart at­tack.

Quotable

“Might as well eat that cookie.”

—Food Net­work star chef Paula Deen’s “six-word mem­oir” in a fea­ture in the Fe­bru­ary is­sue of O, the Oprah Mag­a­zine. Deen, who

is known for her but­ter-soaked and in­dul­gent recipes, last week an­nounced she had a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar deal to pro­mote a di­a­betes treat­ment from Novo Nordisk as she re­vealed she was di­ag­nosed

with type 2 di­a­betes in 2008. “She need not stop cook­ing, but she should prob­a­bly eat that way only rarely. Her recipes of­ten fall into the cat­e­gory of once-a-month cook­ing. ... The woman has a deep-fat fryer in her kitchen. That’s a red flag if there ever was one.” —Keith Ay­oob, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of pe­di­atrics at Al­bert Ein­stein Col­lege of Medicine in New York City,

on Abc­news.com about Paula Deen.

GETTY IMAGES

The stress of their jobs seems to be get­ting to com­pli­ance of­fi­cers at hospi­tals, with 60% say­ing they’ve con­sid­ered leav­ing their posts in the past year be­cause of anx­i­ety.

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