How to handle noncompliant partners/shareholders

Suppose you’ve finally crafted the compensation plan all partners agree works best for your practice. Should you penalize a partner who sees plenty of patients but isn’t carrying his or her load in other important ways? Don’t start right out slapping penalties on a problem partner.

The first step is education. Be sure to specify retraining requirements in your formal compliance policy and insist on carrying it out whenever anyone in the office miscodes or otherwise handles duties improperly. Some physicians will consider retraining a penalty anyway, but don’t back away from requiring it.

The next step is monetary penalties. If your partner does not correct his or her ways, more drastic action becomes necessary. Monetary penalties make sense at that point, regardless of the angst it may cause the entire group. Don’t set partner-level fines too low to have an effect. Establishing them as if they were traffic tickets won’t deliver the same kick as tying compliance directly to income.

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