Ethics & Compliance

We live and work in a highly regulated environment. Federal and state privacy laws protect the privacy of identifiable student, consumer, and health care information. Intellectual property laws protect the contributions we make to science and learning. Research laws and related accreditation standards impose a broad range of requirements for protecting individuals who volunteer to participate in clinical trials and other studies. Occupational health and safety laws are designed to protect workers from on-the-job hazards. And federal fraud and abuse laws seek to promote efficiency and avoid waste in federally funded programs, such as health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and research programs supported by the U.S. Public Health Service.

Although compliance programs are seen by many as cumbersome, time-consuming, bureaucratic efforts in paperwork production, the truth is, compliance programs serve many important functions - for our patients and customers, our trainees and students, our faculty and staff, our financial resources and even our research ideas. In the U-M Health System, these programs help ensure that our facilities meet federal safety regulations, our health care providers are properly trained, patients participating in research are protected, and our vendors do not improperly influence our purchasing decisions.

Detailed information about the U-M Health System's compliance program is available on the web (http://www.med.umich.edu/u/compliance) to all U-M faculty and staff. In addition to details on the various areas of compliance that are relevant to health care, the site lists contact information for compliance officers, provides links to relevant policies and procedures, and describes educational requirements for workforce members.

One area of particular importance for U-M health care providers relates to federal and state laws concerning false claims and false statements. Detailed information about these laws and related institutional policies designed to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse is available on the UMHS Compliance Website (http://www.med.umich.edu/u/compliance). Briefly, these laws prohibit the University from making false claims or false statements to secure federal or state support, require the University to educate its workforce to promote compliance, impose various monitoring and enforcement obligations, and provide whistleblower protection to individuals who come forward to advise the University of problems.