In collaboration with UPMC Insurance Services Division, the Health Ethics Trust held its second annual National Symposium on Quality and Compliance (NSQC) on June 8-9 in Pittsburgh, PA. Over the two-day event, 11 presentations from an accomplished and diverse faculty were presented in an interactive format allowing for an open dialog amongst attendees and speakers.

The purpose of the NSQC is to share strategies which evidence that an integrated approach to quality and compliance can help achieve the desired goals of today’s healthcare model: better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower growth in health-related expenditures.

Sandra McAnallen, Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Quality Performance at UPMC Insurance Services Division opened the event with remarks about the value of creating a collaborative effort between quality and compliance. Robert Cessar, Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Pennsylvania followed with a presentation focusing on a landmark case highlighting criminal fraud as implicated by systematic quality and compliance failures.

Several common themes emerged as the faculty shared new and emerging strategies for Quality/Compliance collaboration:

  • Removing barriers and silos that may exist between compliance and quality departments to create collaborative partnerships capable of more efficiently accomplishing common goals.  These collaborations should include cross-training and more meaningful auditing.
  • Documentation will be a key factor in monitoring quality outcomes and compliance metrics.
  • Big data can play a big role in successful quality/compliance integration. The concept of a Single Point of Truth (SPOT) was presented. This viewpoint posits that no matter by whom or when data is utilized, it needs to be consistent, reliable and accurate to be effectively leveraged.

Mark Pastin, Ph.D., President of the Health Ethics Trust, commented, “This year’s Symposium showcased practical approaches to integrating compliance and quality. This is the leading edge in the evolution of healthcare compliance.”


For more information about the NSQC, including available presentations, contact the Health Ethics Trust at or by calling 703-683-7916.