Glossary of Terms
Annual Report – A document issued annually containing details on financial results and performance for the previous fiscal year, as well as perspective for the future.
Anti-kickback Statute – The law forbids making or receiving kickbacks for items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other healthcare program. A kickback is illegal remuneration paid to induce a patient referral.
Board of Directors – The group of twelve voting members appointed by the sponsors of Alegent Health (appointments must be ratified by all board members) to represent the sponsors and oversee the management of the organization. The CEO of Alegent Health also serves as a non-voting, ex-officio, member of the Board.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – The highest-ranking officer of the organization.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – The corporate executive responsible for the financial planning and tracking of a company.
Compliance Officer – Individual serving as the organization’s information/contact resource for compliance related issues, as well as a resource for federal and state regulations, particularly the federally-funded Medicare program. This person also serves as the auditor/reviewer of system-wide compliance policies and procedures.
Corporate Integrity Process – Part of the organization’s compliance program, this process is used to report and investigate on alleged compliance problems within the organization.
Corporate Governance – The relationship between the sponsors, board of directors and the management of an organization which ensures that management carries out its responsibilities in a lawful and compliant manner at all times.
Finance & Audit Committee (FAC) – The group of five board members, one non-board community representative and two non-voting members, that serves as liaisons for the organization’s sponsors and oversees the financial management and auditing processes of the organization.
General Counsel – The senior lawyer of a corporation. This is normally a full-time employee of the corporation although some corporations contract this position out to a lawyer with a private firm.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) – Federal legislation passed in 1996, which sets national standards for the security and privacy of health data, electronic healthcare transactions, and national identifiers for providers, health plans and employers.
Independence – Generally defined as not receiving, other than for service on the board, any consulting, advisory, or other fee from the organization, and not being with the organization, or any subsidiary of the organization. Most governance experts believe that a majority of the board should have no other relationship to the organization.
Independent Auditor – An outside accounting firm that audits the financial records of the organization. At Alegent Health, the independent auditor is hired by the Finance & Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
Medicare – A federal health insurance program designed to provide health care for the elderly and the disabled. Most people who qualify for Social Security benefits are automatically eligible for Medicare.
Medicaid – A federal and state health insurance program designed to provide access to health services for persons below a certain income level. Provides health care to women and children who qualify for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the impoverished elderly and disabled.
Officer of Inspector General (OIG) – The investigative arm of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Sarbanes-Oxley Act – The federal legislation passed in 2002 that requires, among other items, CEO/CFO certification of financial statements and internal controls, independent audit committees, and outside auditor lead partner rotation. It also prohibits loans to executives and directors.
Standards of Conduct – A written policy and procedure which outlines the organizations system-wide standards of integrity, corporate conduct and business ethics.
Stark Statute – Federal legislation that prohibits physicians from referring Medicare and Medicaid patients to entities for certain designated services with which the physician has a financial relationship with and is billing these services unless specific exceptions apply.