Today, I visit with Vin DiCianni, CEO and founder of Affiliated Monitors, Inc. In this episode I visit with DiCianni on the marriage of independent monitors and compliance and ethics programs. DiCianni said that the evolution away from strict regulatory compliance to a more ethics-based compliance has been one of the most significant advancements in independent monitors over the history of AMI. Early on AMI had independent monitorships in the health care industry around such issues as billing and coding. From there, AMI began to address other issues such as codes of conduct and conflicts of interest. So AMI was well suited to move into a more direct ethics-based compliance independent monitorship as the first decade progressed.
DiCianni said that over the life of AMI there have been two Memos released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) which have directly impacted the selection of independent monitors and their application. The first was the Morford Memo, released in 2008. In this Memo, the selection criteria for independent monitors was first laid out, including the need for subject matter expertise and independence and integrity of the monitor.
The second was the Benczkowski Memo, released in 2018, which discusses limiting the use of monitors to certain situations where they might be warranted. However, it does give a company the incentive to go out and evaluate their own ethics and compliance programs, compelling them to strengthen those programs so that if they are ever confronted with an investigation or a self-disclosure to the DOJ, the company can demonstrate it has a strong compliance and ethics program and perhaps get special consideration.