Focus On: The Compliance Team emphasizes exemplary service

When Sandra Canally first opened the doors of The Compliance Team in 1994, she had no idea that just a few years after launching, her company would become the organization it is today, acknowledged by many in the industry for its simplified, innovative and leading-edge accreditation and certification programs.

At the time, Canally, the founder and CEO of the company, just wanted to improve the accreditation process.

The Compliance Team is a nationally recognized Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services-approved healthcare accreditation organization based in Spring House, Pa. It provides Exemplary Provider accreditation and certification programs for pharmacies, DMEPOS providers and clinics throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company also is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and is recognized by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. 

Canally spent the better part of the past 50 years serving on the front lines in nearly every sector of the country’s healthcare delivery system. She knows firsthand what matters most to patients — safety, honesty and caring.

She said that safety, honesty and caring have been The Compliance Team’s guiding principles for many years, adding that the accreditation programs are designed to be “operations-driven.” They are based on daily practices, making the program easier to implement across the provider spectrum. The simplified standards are adaptable to meet the needs of each provider’s business model, instead of a top-down approach.

Simplification leads to clarity and clarity allows the provider to focus on improving patient care.
Sandra Canally, founder and CEO of The Compliance Team.

“Excellent patient care depends on getting the basics right. All our standards and programs are built on safety, honesty and caring because that is what patients and their family members care about most. If the provider excels in those three things, then what else matters?”

Before The Compliance Team, people thought of accreditation as costly, difficult and not focused on day-to-day practices, Canally said. The Compliance Team’s Exemplary Provider programs are all based on two fundamental beliefs: One is that every patient deserves exemplary care, and the second is that it should not be costly or difficult for a provider to achieve accreditation

Such simple principles were not considered essential elements of healthcare accreditation until Canally first challenged industry orthodoxy, starting in the fall of 1998, when The Compliance Team filed the first of what has grown into a full suite of service-specific Exemplary Provider accreditation programs. 

The company’s first accreditation program was for durable medical equipment, prosthetics/orthotics and suppliers, or DMEPOS. Pharmacy programs followed in early 2000. After the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003, the Secretary of Health and Human Services authorized The Compliance Team to accredit Medicare Part B DMEPOS providers. In 2014, the firm received the secretary’s authority to accredit Medicare Part A Rural Health Clinic, and in 2018, The Compliance Team received CMS recognition to accredit Part A Patient-Centered Medical Home practitioners. The list continues to grow.

To demonstrate The Compliance Team’s dedication and commitment to its providers, Canally said that one can go back to 2009. In mid-September 2009, with just days before the Medicare DMEPOS accreditation deadline, The Compliance Team was still accepting last-minute applications from providers. All the other accreditation organizations had stopped taking applications. The Compliance Team became the only accreditation organization in town. Not one applicant was turned away, and The Compliance Team employees were in the air and on the ground right up until midnight of the deadline. 

The Compliance Team continues to service and support the healthcare industry with new programs coming out almost every year. Canally said that new to the organization in 2020 are a series of certification programs. Pharmacy and Clinic Testing Certifications offer the pharmacy or clinic a new revenue stream via point-of-care testing for COVID-19 and other tests, while stressing safety in all related areas. The Immunization Certification program can be a stand-alone program or combined with one of the testing certifications.

Safety has always been important. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the emphasis on safety to a new level. The Compliance Team believes that community pharmacies play an ever-important role in our nation’s COVID-19 strained healthcare delivery system. Accreditation or certification ensures that personnel are properly trained and knowledgeable about safety issues. It provides the pharmacy guidelines, checklists and tools to help maintain safety for their patients, their employees and their customers. 

Another COVID-19 related program from The Compliance Team is its real time remote virtual survey process. Canally said the process will be implemented for certification surveys, and temporarily, for Rural Health Clinic and DMEPOS surveys. The company plans to announce additional certification programs before the end of 2020.

Whenever we create a new program, it benefits everyone involved. Our retail partners are generating additional revenue from their pharmacy departments, they are offering solutions to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and they are showing their patients and payers that they are putting quality and patient safety first.

Canally said she is fond of saying that “most people don’t know what accreditation means, but everyone knows what exemplary is.” The Exemplary Provider brand came into being in 1998. The designation is designed to award only those providers that successfully complete The Compliance Team’s comprehensive accreditation or certification standards.

Gaining consumer trust is vital to the success of any pharmacy business. The Compliance Team’s Exemplary Provider accreditation and certification programs demonstrate proof of a pharmacy’s commitment to continuous quality improvement. The Exemplary Provider brand has become synonymous with quality, simplicity and, of course, safety.

The Compliance Team offers what Canally calls a “one-stop shopping range” of different programs designed to help retail pharmacies in various ways. Included in their pharmacy options are: community pharmacy, non-sterile compounding, long-term care, specialty pharmacy, infusion/sterile compounding, telepharmacy and Patient-Centered Pharmacy Home, the firm’s award-winning program that focuses on coordination of care within a healthcare team. Medicare Part B DMEPOS is included in The Compliance Team’s community pharmacy program, but also can be a stand-alone program.

For The Compliance Team, when all is said and done, Canally said it is about making sure that the pharmacy’s patients are confident with and feel good about using its services. 

“We work with retail pharmacists to make sure that they have the right accreditation and knowledge of the industry, so that their customers know that everything is being done correctly,” she said. “We hold our providers accountable to our comprehensive standards and then recognize them for the exemplary providers that they are, patient champions and community leaders.”