Health Care Compliance Certificate Program
The Health Care Compliance (HCC) Certificate program teaches you the relevant law and practical applications of compliance. Gain knowledge of best practices through exploration of current issues, and learn from Pitt Law’s expert faculty, including professors of the School of Law and Graduate School of Public Health, current and former federal regulators, and compliance-industry experts.
The HCC Certificate program is:
- Comprehensive—A full 15-credit stand-alone graduate certificate designed specifically for compliance professionals. Each course was built by experts in compliance and online education specifically for this program to deliver the learning and skills our students need to succeed in their compliance careers.
- Convenient—Complete the program in 10 months! Learn on your schedule with asynchronous classes. The program is offered entirely online, so weekly coursework can be done when it is most convenient for working professionals
- Accelerated—Each full 3-credit graduate course is only eight weeks long - so students complete the program quickly even though they only take one course at a time.
- Expert-led—Learn from experienced, working legal experts who teach courses and concepts applicable to real-world challenges. Gain access to a valued and diverse network of colleagues and mentors within the Pitt Law and broader Pitt communities. Our Compliance faculty members are professors from Pitt Law and Pitt Graduate School of Public Health, current and former federal regulators, leading health care attorneys, and accomplished compliance officers.
This program is accredited by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB)®. That means that, with your Health Care Compliance Certificate in hand, you will be eligible to take the Certified in Health Care Compliance Exam (CHC®) and sit for the CCEP®, CCEP-I®, CHRC®, and/or CHPC® exams, giving you a valuable opportunity to advance your career.
You can learn more about the Certified in Health Care Compliance (CHC) Exam, download the CHC handbook, and find a detailed exam content outline here.
Earn Industry Certifications
Graduates of the Health Care Compliance Certificate who have fulfilled the applicable requirements are eligible within one year of earning the certificate to sit for industry exams, including:
- Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP)®
- Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional–International (CCEP-I)®
- Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)®
- Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC)®
- Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC)®
Download Program Brochure
Find the online program that fits your needs. Our Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is designed for professionals seeking to enhance their careers through a legal education with a versatile alternative to the traditional three-year JD degree. Our graduate certificates can further your expertise within a specific area of the law in 10 months. Students who complete a certificate program have the option of applying those 15 course credits toward the Online MSL degree.
Complete the form to get a program brochure for Pitt Law’s Online MSL plus your chosen specialization, or your chosen certificate program, delivered to your inbox.
Objectives of the Health Care Compliance Certificate Program
Through the coursework in the HCC program, students will:
- Understand the laws that shape the health care industry in general, and compliance in particular
- Gain a deeper understanding of the regulatory context of compliance
- Develop the skills and knowledge necessary to identify compliance issues, guide change, and navigate complexity while supporting an ethical culture
- Be able to identify best practices in compliance management
- Grow critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a compliance context
- Acquire the knowledge and skills to manage conflict
- Improve communication and presentation skills
- Participate in peer-to-peer learning that will facilitate networking opportunities
Pitt Law's HCC Certificate Program Students
The Health Care Compliance Certificate is designed for:
- Compliance professionals who wish to enhance their understanding and professional development
- Health care professionals who routinely engage with compliance regulations
- Health care industry administrators and leaders
- Career changers looking to increase their credibility in regulated health care spaces
- Attorneys who want to acquire an appreciation of the compliance industry, client needs and issues
The past cohorts of Pitt Law’s HCC Certificate program have been made up of a diverse array of professionals in direct health care positions and in adjacent roles, including compliance managers and directors, therapists, social workers, nurses, and doctors. Cohorts have also included several several senior administrators, business leaders and many life science research professionals. IT professionals and several attorneys have sought their certificates in this area, as well.
Here is a sampling of the titles HCC students hold:
- Compliance and risk management fellow
- Corporate contracts specialist
- Practice manager
- Licensed clinical social worker
- Business analyst for Medicaid programs
- Compliance analyst
- Licensed therapist
- Senior research technician
- Database and compliance manager
- Director of learning and engagement
- Health care IT compliance analyst/administrator
- Clinical fraud, waste and abuse auditor
- Medical receptionist
- Senior claims examiner
- Clinical corporate contracts officer
Health Care Compliance Certificate Courses
The Health Care Compliance Certificate consists of five courses totaling 15 credits.
- Introduction to the Legal System for Health Care and Compliance (3 credits)
- Legal Aspects of Health Care Compliance (3 credits)
- Effective Compliance Program Development and Skills (3 credits)
- Professional Judgment and Ethics, the Canvas of Compliance (3 credits)
- Selected Applications in Compliance (3 credits)
This seminar will provide an overview of the compliance function in a hospital as well as in a large provider’s office. It will look at challenges and best practices in implementing and measuring compliance with Medicare conditions of participation and payment, survey and certification requirements, HIPAA, Stark, anti-kickback, professional relations, coding obligations and guidelines, and quality.
This seminar will build on the Hospitals and Providers seminar and look at real-world examples of federal enforcement activities, what went wrong in the compliance program implementation and how things could have been done differently. It will also address topics such as managing internal and governmental investigations and managing up, dealing with business leaders, CEOs, and politically sensitive situations.
The focus of this seminar will be the privacy and security provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Environmental and Clinical Health (HITECH). Students will obtain a full understanding of what it means for a health care organization to be HIPAA compliant, how to monitor and measure HIPAA/HITECH compliance, how to develop effective compliance programs, training, risk assessment, and how best to utilize a privacy officer and a privacy and security infrastructure to minimize risk and ensure full HIPAA compliance across a complex organization.
This seminar will examine the interplay between HIPAA and other federal and state health privacy laws and the application and enforcement of those laws in a variety of health care settings. The class will address differences in state and federal law. The class will also address detection, analysis and responses to unauthorized disclosures, security incidents and HIPAA breaches. This class will look beyond HIPAA at technology and innovation, at the requirements for electronic health record certifications, and the challenges to a goal of portable health records.
Patient quality measures and achievements are growing in importance in the compliance profession. This seminar will provide an overview of the key components of, and importance of quality in the realm of patient safety, while incorporating techniques to continuously improve and transform a health care system. We will explore critical health care quality issues at the organizational and microsystem levels, and detail current strategies, tactics, and methods for understanding quality. Students will discuss foundational health care quality principles, and look at practical tools necessary for measuring quality, improving health care performance, and promoting transparency of clinical pathways and outcomes.
An effective compliance program is tailored to a company’s risk. Compliance risk assessments also serve to protect and defend companies. In fact, a company's approach to compliance risk assessment was identified by the U.S. Department of Justice as a foundational consideration when evaluating whether to bring charges against a company. With that in mind, this seminar focuses on practical approaches to conducting a compliance risk assessment in the health care setting. Students will learn how to develop a risk framework, and different approaches to scoring company risk. This will include everything from building a risk register to prioritizing and reporting out on a top systematic risk assessment process.
This seminar will address the fundamental ethical issues that are the driving force behind research rules and regulations. Students will evaluate how to create effective compliance programs that address issues in basic human subject research, animal research, the responsible use of research results, responsible conduct of research and conflicts of interest.
This seminar will provide an overview of key sources of law that cover the approval, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs and devices. Students will study policies and practices designed to ensure effective compliance with these laws, especially as it relates to safety, efficacy, kickback risks, and off-label marketing.
This seminar will examine the key compliance issues health insurers face in connection with their business models. Students will examine challenges and best practices in implementing and measuring compliance with the Affordable Care Act and other federal and state requirements, understanding and preparing for government program compliance audits, and other unique obligations of payers in today’s health care environment.
HCC Certificate Course Spotlight
Legal Aspects of Health Care Compliance
This course will address the importance of corporate compliance for health care organizations and provide an overview of the legal landscape regarding health care compliance. As one of the most highly regulated industries in the United States, health care entities are required to comply with numerous statutes and regulations at the federal and state level. These laws are increasingly complex, thereby exposing health care entities to liability for non-compliance. Individuals involved in the administration and delivery of health care must be well-versed in the laws and regulations that govern health care compliance, as well as the strategies health care entities employ to address these compliance concerns. Moreover, they must be prepared for internal and external audits, investigations and disclosures.
Through lecture and class discussion, students will explore specific issues facing the health care industry, including fraud and abuse concerns (Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, False Claims Act, and Civil Monetary Penalties); conflicts of interest and governance; privacy, data, and security. Students will also gain an understanding of: key federal health care programs; the evolution of compliance programs; the seven elements of effective compliance programs; significant compliance risk areas for various health care entities; corporate integrity agreements (CIAs) and certificate of compliance agreements (CCAs); internal and external audits and investigations, including working with legal counsel; and self-disclosure protocols.
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
- Describe the role of regulation in the health care industry and the importance of compliance to health care entities.
- Discuss the laws and regulations applicable to health care entities regarding health care compliance.
- Identify the elements necessary for an effective compliance plan.
- Identify and analyze the risk areas specific to different health care entities.
- Apply current compliance laws and regulations in various health care settings.
Professor Cummings teaches a Life Science Compliance seminar and Introduction to the Legal System for Health Care and Compliance. She treats students like colleagues and works to create an engaging experience to form strong connections, especially in the online format.
Earning Your Health Care Compliance Certificate is Just the Beginning
With your Health Care Compliance Certificate in hand, you may be eligible to sit for the CCEP, CCEP-I, CHC, CHRC, and/or CHPC exams, giving you a valuable opportunity to advance your career.
Additionally, you have the option to pursue the Master of Studies in Law degree if you decide you’d like to continue on with Pitt Law. Certificate students who successfully complete a graduate certificate program with a 3.0 GPA will automatically be considered for admission with no additional application or application fees.
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