An effective measure to denounce malpractice in the health care domain is through the operation of a whistle-blowing hot line. Such a whistle-blowing measure allows individuals the ability to report illegal activities without requiring the person to reveal their identities. Typically, the hotline takes the form of a dedicated telephone number that can be called to report everything from embezzlement,record tampering or other types of suspected health care fraud. The idea behind the whistle blower hotline is to provide a means for concerned citizens to alert authorities and investigators to suspected economic fraud without placing themselves in any type of danger.Before such an action can be initiated by concerned groups, several significant steps must betaken to guarantee the success of the operation.
Unfortunately, it is not as easy as designating a phone number to take calls. Security and legal obligations must be undertaken to not only protect the individuals involved, but to enable the information obtained to be admissible for future use by investigators and attorneys.Prior to launching such a hotline, it is important to understand the objective of the operation, to specify the role and perimeters of the program. A traditional whistleblower hotline is designed with a telephone number that can be used to report to government agencies or even watchdog groups within specific industries when there is suspicion of some sort of fraudulent enterprise taking place. There are also examples of corporations that choose to establish this type of hotline for internal use; this makes it possible for persons within the organisation to dispatch suspicious behaviour without being in fear of losing their jobs or becoming alienated within the company.
When a tip is received from a whistle-blower, the information is investigated further, making it possible to resolve if there was in fact any type of fraudulent activity taking place or if the tip was a hoax. If something illegal is indeed detected, the intelligence- along with any supporting evidence provided via the whistleblower hotline-can be delivered to the appropriate law enforcement agency.In any hotline launch, it is essential to obtain the special audio communication programs that guarantee anonymity of the informants. Further, security measures must be placed on computers and on the physical headquarters of the program, protecting the information obtained. If the scope of the entity conducting the fraudulent activity is vast enough, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities that it would not engage in industrial espionage or sabotage to protect its interests against the threat of the hotline. The information could be stolen so to know how to cover up its misdeeds, or to undermine the whistle-blowing efforts.
For example, Scotland Yard revealed in 2012 that hackers had recorded calls between staff manning a British health fraud hotline.The health care industry provides a unique set of issues that must be addressed for the success of a whistleblower hotline. Frequently health care providers maintain entities and practices spread across various geographies and national borders. Because of this vast expanse of services and operations, multiple legal codes and regulations are involved. Prior to any launch, it is essential to acquire legal representation to oversee the legal compliance of the operation pertaining to particular jurisdictions. This guarantees that loop holes do not exist that would taint the admissibility of the information collected and the effectiveness of continuing investigations. For instance, if insider trading of a health care corporation is the scope of the activity, it is more difficult to successfully prosecute in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States, where the laws are considered far stricter.Understanding local and regional customs and protocols will enable groups to strategies how to pursue the investigation and who to collaborate with.After the successful launch of a hotline, it is essential to verify security measures for information and communication. Opposition groups will learn to adapt to the preset safety protocols, and will develop new techniques to breach security. It is essential to remain vigilant of potential threats, so that individuals with information are not scared away from assisting in the matter.It is also essential to maintain updates of legal codes and court proceedings. If an investigation or lawsuit is undertaken by other parties, the activities of the hotline may become unnecessary; even worse, their activities could impede the progress of an ongoing investigation. New legal mandates can also arise, which can affect what the hotline can or cannot bring forth as evidence.