Health Care Internal Audit Services
Health care organizations are drawing intense scrutiny from not only the government but also from patients for high-quality care and compliance with health care rules and regulates. With the enactment of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), transition to the International Classifications of Diseases, Tenth Revisions (ICD-10), and government increase enforcement activities, among other initiatives, health care organizations must seek strategic solutions to manage compliance and risks. If your organization is found to be non-compliant, the fines, penalties, restitution, and reputation damage can be staggering. For over 20 years, we have found that the internal audit function plays a vital role in the organization’s compliance with the ever changing regulations environment. Internal audit employs a systematic, consistent, standard-based, disciplined approach to their work; and brings expertise and understanding to systems of internal controls that protect against the impact of non-compliance. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has stated that ongoing auditing of high risk areas is a critical factor in any effective compliance program. Internal auditing can and should play a meaningful role in this regard.
If you would like to discuss our internal audit services, please get in touch with us today. You can call us at (703) 683-9600 or fill out our online contact form.
Strategic Management Internal Audit Evaluation Services/Quality Assurance Reviews
Strategic Management offers evaluation services (i.e., quality assurance reviews) for internal audit functions in the health care industry. We evaluate the internal audit function as to how they are carrying out their duties and responsibilities, using a review protocol that follows the standards of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Our services assess the role of internal audit in examining and evaluating the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls in accordance with established standards, laws, and regulations. Our internal audit evaluation services include reviewing selected audits to determine whether they follow acceptable standards. The evaluation also focuses on how well the internal audit functions address high-risk areas for compliance with applicable rules, regulations, and laws, and determining the level of effectiveness of those controls in meeting objectives.
Our internal audit evaluation services examine and advise on the following:
- Meeting the Professional Practice Standards of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
- Annual audit planning process.
- Success in adding value to the organization.
- Assessing the economic use of internal audit resources.
- Effectiveness of the audit resolution process.
- Adequacy of follow-up audits to verify corrective actions taken to correct findings.
- Any special projects conducted at the request of management and the Board.
- Any audit of cases of misappropriation, misconduct, and fraud.
- Internal audit professional relationship with external auditors and management.
- The level by which internal audit has kept the Board Audit Committee informed of their activities.
- Role in assessing compliance with laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.
Strategic Management’s Internal Audit Outsourcing Services
The internal audit function, unlike the external auditor, does not render financial opinions; its work is primarily focused on non-financial operational audits. Growth of the compliance office functions over the last few years has led many organizations to blur the line with internal audit and contributed to the growth of tension and competition for resources and attention from management. While there is a critical role for the internal audit function, many organizations are not ready or able to run the function in-house. In resolving these issues, many consider the elimination of the internal audit function; or, outsourcing to experts.
Many organizations have been moving to outsource or “co-source” existing internal audit programs. Health care organizations may not be clear as to how large the internal audit function should be, the level of expertise and experience needed, how the internal audit function would best operate, and/or where to place the internal audit function within the organization. Further, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) began developing standards in 1978 and have subsequently undergone updating and enhancement. Many organizations do not have the scale of operations to meet all these standards in house and an outsourcing internal audit function has a clear advantage. Outsourced services provides the benefit in reducing internal audit costs by obtaining access to an internal audit outsourcing firm’s broad range of expertise that would otherwise be too expensive to maintain internally.
Another approach is using outside internal auditing consulting services for “co-sourcing” selected services to ensure that the role of the internal audit function is operating the way it should be. Co-sourcing relies on an in-house internal audit to use external service providers only for non-routine services where special capabilities are needed. In the health care sector, this is particularly useful in performing assessments and operational audits of compliance high-risk areas. This allocation of audit tasks creates a synergy that incorporates the strengths of an in-house internal audit with the benefits of access to the broad spectrum of capabilities available from external consulting services. Co-sourcing allows the internal audit function to pursue value-added services that otherwise could not provide because of a lack of time or capabilities.
Benefits of Strategic Management’s outsourced/co-sourcing internal audit services include:
- Permits focusing on your core business activities.
- Outside experts provide a wider range of skills than from hiring individuals.
- Prevents loss of consistency that could come from an employee turnover.
- Reduced cost as hiring internal auditors with the necessary experience and expertise is expensive.
- Ensure independence and objectivity of the internal audit function.
- Facilitate easy monitoring of performance of a consultant through service-level agreements.
If you are interested in learning more about Strategic Management’s Internal Audit Services contact us at (703) 683-9600 or fill out our online contact form.
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