When our health starts to fail and we need medical care, the first thing we think about is finding the best possible doctor. We don’t spend a lot of time contemplating whether our health care providers are also good at business.

However, it’s increasingly difficult to ignore the administrative capabilities of our health care providers, since they face an increasingly complicated set of regulations that govern not just how they care for patients, but also how they run their practices.

That was the message delivered by Partner Roy Breitenbach, head of our Health Care Industry Team, and Marc Lion, a partner with Mazars Inc., a global business consultancy, during the 2023 Long Island Business News Health Care Forum.

Roy and Mark spoke to about 200 health care industry and business leaders about the pressing need to recognize that health care compliance regulations often extend into other key areas of a health care provider’s operations.

Exhibit A: earlier this year the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) issued new compliance regulations that, among other matters, include new requirements for dealing with fraud, waste and abuse and for refunding Medicaid overpayments.

The broadening focus on fiscal as well as clinical compliance “becomes an ever-increasing, complex system” Roy said during the Forum. “And it quickly gets out of hand if you don’t have an effective compliance program for your organization.

“Compliance,” he added, “is fundamentally a part of everything. You do not want the government to be knocking on your door with a problem.”

The challenge, Marc told the LIBN audience, is that “physicians today go to medical school to learn to become physicians…They don’t teach you how to run a business, they don’t teach you how to start a business.”

Mazars is an international audit, tax and advisory organization. Marc says he often works with young physicians looking to start their own practice. And he takes them through a start-up check list that includes obvious steps, such as renting a space and acquiring equipment and supplies. “But there’s also a lot of regulatory components to that checklist. What forms do I do I need in place? How is my patient intake and documentation working?”

Roy and Marc’s discussion came at the end of a 2 ½ hour forum addressing essential issues dealing with Long Island health care. The panel kicked off with excerpts of an interview with Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Health, an integrated health care system serving Long Island and New York City with six acute care hospitals, three nursing homes, a home health service, hospice and a network of physician practices. Catholic Health is a Harris Beach client.

Dr. O’Shaughnessy discussed Catholic Health’s ongoing initiative to address the growing problem of hunger in Long Island communities. These initiatives, supported by Harris Beach, include distribution of food “to-go” bags to patients as well as construction of a new community garden for growing fresh vegetables for those bags.

Click to watch a video of the full Health Care Forum program. The playback includes an interactive transcript.