4 Benefits of FACIS® Healthcare Background Screening
July 5 2023
Healthcare fraud is an issue that results in billions of dollars lost each year and negatively impacts everyone. If we don’t do everything in our power to prevent fraud and abuse crimes within our healthcare system, it could greatly reduce the public’s trust in medical providers, drive up insurance premiums, and seriously endanger patients.
Luckily, there are organizations dedicated to fighting corruption in the healthcare industry, including the HCFAC, NHCAA, and background screening organizations who run searches through The Fraud and Abuse Control Information System, or FACIS®.
Some of these organizations work to actively catch and stop criminals. Others aim to prevent criminals from sneaking back into the healthcare system and threatening vulnerable populations. The background check vendors running FACIS searches fit the latter.
There are many golden standard background check procedures for healthcare workers that aim to protect patients, including criminal history searches, drug testing, credential verifications, and more. Among the searches that go into a background check, FACIS screening and other sanctions searches are uniquely necessary (and often required) for healthcare organizations. It is a safety measure that organizations taking care of children, elderly patients, and at-risk individuals simply cannot afford to forgo.
Here’s how FACIS healthcare screening protects your organization by ensuring your new hire – whether they are a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, claims processor, or clinical student – does not have a documented history of fraud.
What Is FACIS Screening?
State boards use FACIS to document adverse action against medical practitioners and sanctioned healthcare organizations. The database contains detailed information about the disciplinary actions issued against a healthcare professional, such as reprimands, probation, disqualifications, and exclusions.
FACIS screening includes a search of over 800 sources from all 50 states. Each state maintains a list of medical practitioners who have been sanctioned by state licensing boards. It also includes searches of records of federal agencies, including…
- The Office of the Inspector General (OIG): List of Excluded Individuals and Entities
- The General Services Administration (GSA): Excluded Parties List System
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Debarment List covering the pharmaceutical industry
Maintaining these lists helps agencies to prevent excluded individuals and medical organizations from seeking reimbursement for any federal healthcare program. Medical practitioners and healthcare providers end up on sanctions lists for a whole host of reasons, including fraud, patient abuse, and licensing board violations. Regardless, a FACIS search is an invaluable tool when it comes to reducing the risk of hiring or working with the wrong people in the healthcare industry.
Why Healthcare Organizations Should Run FACIS Checks: 4 Benefits
Whether you’re hiring for positions at a hospital, home health agency, pharmacy, or any other medical organization, the benefits of conducting background checks that use FACIS are vast. By now, we’ve established FACIS screening as an integral part of reducing risk with healthcare background screening programs – but what are the other benefits of FACIS searches? Let’s break it down:
1. Mitigate Risk For Your Practice & Patients
Fraud in the healthcare industry directly impacts patients’ finances, medical records, and safety. Some cases include wrongly charging patients for services that were meant to be covered by their insurance, while others are as extreme as doctors performing life-threatening procedures on people who do not need them.
It is disheartening to hear about corruption within the healthcare industry, one whose primary duty is to act in the best interest of patients and take care of vulnerable populations. However, thanks to hardworking individuals, we have FACIS – a nationwide database that stops offenders in their tracks. Any healthcare employee who has been disciplined for engaging in shady practices is identifiable, reducing medical practices’ chances of hiring doctors, nurses, or staff who put patients’ wellbeing at risk.
The information provided by a FACIS search not only protects patients, but it also mitigates the risk of costly lawsuits and negligence claims. Whether you work for a private caretaker placement practice or a huge hospital system, lawsuits over medical fraud result in serious setbacks. Investing in thorough healthcare background checks ensures your medical practice can focus on using your budget to maximize patient wellbeing.
2. Comply With Healthcare Industry Regulations
FACIS screening and healthcare background checks are the right thing to do. They’re the compliant thing to do, too. An overwhelming majority of healthcare practices are aware of and follow regulations like OIG guidelines, federal Medicaid and Medicare standards, and state fraud prevention laws. However, it’s best for a medical organization to ensure that their background screening provider is on top of compliance, too.
Look for a background screening vendor with the right accreditations who provides Level III FACIS searches and comes equipped with extensive compliance expertise. This will prevent your healthcare organization from missing any steps that could result in legal trouble.
3. Protect Your Organization’s Reputation
Trust is a form of currency in any industry, especially healthcare. A healthcare organization’s reputation impacts every aspect of its success, including the amount of patients it attracts and retains, the quality of candidates it lands, and the funding it receives from government agencies and investors. Healthcare has evolved into a consumer-driven industry. In addition, we are considered to be in the midst of the “age of information” and the digital revolution.
Thus, as consumers become more informed and gain agency over who provides their care, healthcare practices cannot afford to slip up. Healthcare background checks that include FACIS screening, sanctions searches, employee monitoring, and other essential services should be a fundamental part of every practice’s efforts to build the trust needed to uphold a great reputation.
4. Play a Role In Ending Systemic Issues
Unfortunately, the scope of people negatively impacted by fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry goes far beyond individual victims or practices. Corruption in healthcare feeds a wealth of systemic issues, including higher insurance premiums, drug shortages, and the opioid crisis. FACIS searches and background checks are only one of many defenses in the fight against systemic issues in healthcare.
While the objective of FACIS searches is to prevent fraudsters from getting back in the system, the existence of FACIS is also a constant reminder to stay vigilant in stopping these crimes before the damage is done. Some ways to prevent fraud and abuse from happening within your healthcare organization include…
- Conducting employee monitoring for early warning signs of criminal behavior
- Hire a compliance officer or form a task force
- Build an environment of ongoing education and training
- Ensure you hire qualified and experienced people to run billing and claims
- Be observant & report any suspicious activity
Learn more about what you can do to help here.
Partner With an Experienced Background Check Provider
A qualified and dedicated background check provider will assist your medical organization on its mission to mitigate threats of fraud and abuse. They will work with you to build an extensive healthcare background screening program that includes this important search.
InfoMart’s healthcare screening program is dedicated to providing quality searches on medical candidates. Gain peace of mind knowing the highest level of due diligence will be obtained through FACIS Level III searches. Additionally, get the most out of your sanctions searches with Verified Watchlist, the first-to-market actionable watchlist search that you can actually use in hiring decisions.
At InfoMart, we’ve been helping organizations reduce hiring risk compliantly for over 30 years. Combining innovative technology, in-house compliance experts, and a dedicated customer service team, we’re equipped to provide your practice with quick and hassle-free background check results that comply with industry standards.
We understand no two healthcare practices are the same, so we’ll work with you to build the perfect screening program for your organization. Interested in seeing what your healthcare organization’s background check program would look like at InfoMart? Request a quote or reach out anytime to get an idea.
Does your organization accept clinical rotation students? We can help them, too.
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About Tammy Cohen
Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.
InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.