Held Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Health Lawyers' Fall 2004 public interest teleconference series began with Corporate Responsibility: Roles of the General Counsel and Compliance Officer.
The speakers were:
- Lewis Morris, Chief Counsel, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
- Douglas A. Hastings, Senior Partner, Epstein Becker and Green PC, Washington, DC
- Michael C. Hemsley, General Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Compliance, Catholic Health East, Newtown Square, PA
- Michael W. Peregrine, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Chicago, IL; and
- Jane Reister Conard, Senior Counsel, Intermountain Health Care, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT (moderator.)
The speakers focused on An Integrated Approach to Corporate Compliance: A Resource for Health Care Boards of Directors. Jointly released on July 1, 2004 by HHS' Office of the Inspector General and AHLA, this educational resource discusses the respective roles of in-house counsel and chief compliance officers in supporting the compliance oversight function of healthcare organization governing boards. It also addresses issues raised by recent developments in the law with respect to corporate responsibility and lawyers' professional ethics as well as the modifications to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations, and the recommendations of the American Bar Association Task Force on Corporate Responsibility. The educational resource addresses these issues in the unique context of healthcare compliance and healthcare law, particularly in light of the expressed view of the OIG regarding the risk of structuring an organization's compliance function as subordinate to the General Counsel function. Topics addressed by the speakers included:
- Developments that prompted publication of the educational resource;
- Potential tensions that can arise between a general counsel's role to protect an entity legally and the compliance function;
- Administrative processes that healthcare boards may wish to consider to enhance a system's internal "checks and balances" in three situations: (1) where the general counsel serves as the compliance officer; (2) where the chief compliance officer is separate from the general counsel but reports to the general counsel; and (3) where the compliance officer is separate from and does not report to the general counsel.
At the conclusion of their moderated discussion, the speakers responded to questions from teleconference participants.
Download audio recording. (MP3 file, 1 hour: 12 minutes: 31 seconds, 132 megabytes)
An Integrated Approach to Corporate Compliance