In the face of the serious issues facing O and P in the US right now, I felt I should share the following anecdote in case it can help one of my colleagues laugh. Only another O and P provider can appreciate how our office felt last week. We are in Region C and have provided patients with appropriate treatment that is now being scrutinized by the DMERC. At our office, we strive to cross every “t” and dot every “i” as well as documenting appropriately to meet or exceed the standards of compliance that Medicare has set for us. Stress levels are high since we can no longer be sure that claims will be paid in a timely manner due to the probes. Humor has helped our office deal with it all.
Last week our ladies’ restroom toilet quit and had to be replaced. The plumber did his job and we resumed use of the bathroom. However, the women in the office kept looking at each other and commenting that something was different about that toilet. The next morning, our office manager (who is also responsible for compliance) got out the ADA website and a ruler, and sure enough, that toilet was no longer compliant with the ADA specifications. It was short. Our plumber had installed a home model that did not meet height requirements for an accessible toilet.
Of course we immediately drafted a checklist for toilet compliance, nominated a plumbing compliance officer, and planned to meet weekly to discuss toilet issues in the case of future toilet audits and/or toilet probes. We would be more than willing to share this information with any one who would like to avoid compliance issues in their own office plumbing.
We had a good laugh and called the plumber back to correct the problem. It’s not that accessible toilets are funny, it just seemed hilarious that of all the things in the office to be non-compliant, the toilet had became an issue to be addressed.
Dara Ross, CO