Communicating with Regulators & Enforcement: Avoiding Pitfalls

At the Scottsdale HCCA Regional Conference that took place November 8, 2019, James Rough (CHC, CFE, CCEP), President and Founder of SunHawk Consulting, moderated a panel discussion on best practices for organizations engaging with regulators and enforcement professionals.

Participating Panelist included:

Lon Leavitt – Former Assistant United States Attorney District of AZ, Affirmative Civil Enforcement Coordinator, and the Civil Health Care Fraud Coordinator, District of AZ

Lauren Hanover – Special Agent for Health and Human Services, Office of Investigations, Arizona Region

James Schwegel – Supervising Special Agent Arizona Attorney General’s Office

Vanessa Templeman – Deputy Inspector General Office of Inspector General – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

The theme of the panel was the importance of clear, respectful, complete and competent communication. All too often, company representatives directly or indirectly regard regulators and enforcement professionals as threats or unwelcome intruders. This emotionally charged response can often set up unhelpful barriers to proper and proactive communication with regulators and enforcement officials.

It is important to understand the mindset of Regulators and Enforcement personnel. During the presentation, Lon Leavitt clearly communicated that all violations of Federal Law could potentially trigger an investigation, even those with a small monetary threshold. Companies should strongly consider self-reporting violations in order to help save time and treasure.

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