Debbie Troklus on the History of HCCA [Podcast]


hiring for integrity, reason for the rule


Taped at the 2015 Compliance Institute in Orlando, HCCA co-founder Debbie Troklus shares the history of the HCCA, including how we’ve gone from an idea on a napkin to a 10,500+ strong compliance community. 

Debbie has over HCCA, 20th Anniversary, Debbie Troklus History HCCA, Compliance Institute30 years of experience in the health care industry and over 16 of those years have been in the compliance arena. She served as the Assistant Vice President for Health Affairs/Compliance for the University of Louisville Health Science Center from 1996 until 2011. This is a large decentralized health system, which included a large academic medical school with 73 practice entities, 550 teaching physicians and approximately 53 billing systems, the dental and nursing schools and the School of Public Health.

Debbie currently serves on the board of the Health Care Compliance Association and was President in 2000. She also serves on the board of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and is the current president for the Compliance Certification Board. She is also the Dean for the Health Care Compliance Association’s and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Compliance Academies. Debbie has also co-authored two books on compliance, Compliance 101 and In Search of Compliance 2000.

Here’s how HCCA co-founder and CEO Roy Snell remembers creating HCCA & SCCE:

We are on the eve of our 20th anniversary and I want to share a brief history of our time.  About 20 years ago I was asked to be the compliance officer for the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation by a forward thinking COO named Marc Dettmann.   I was given a copy of the Sentencing Guidelines and a business card of a compliance officer named Mary Dunaway.  She and I set up a one day conference for compliance officers in Minneapolis, 30 were invited… 60 showed up.

20th Anniversary, Debbie Troklus History HCCA, Roy Snell, Compliance Institute
The binder for HCCA’s first official annual meeting in Los Angeles in November 1997.

At the end of the meeting I suggested we forma group. At dinner, Brent Saunders and I wrote the name and a mission statement for HCCA on the back of a napkin. Don’t ask, it’s lost, who knew a napkin would be relevant?  The next day I asked Debbie Troklus to help.  (8,600+ people from 70 countries currently hold a compliance credential she created.) Modern Healthcare Magazine called and wanted to do a story on compliance officers.  They put me and the statement “Growth Industry” on the cover. That helped the evolution of the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).  After some success the Board approved a proposal to have Dan Roach and Odell Guyton start the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE).  At one point there were 3 members, now there are over 15,500 from about 80 countries. The problem with a short story about the evolution of an organization like SCCE/HCCA is that you have to leave out hundreds of very important people like Boehme, Murphy, Vacca, and on and on and on.  Every Board member, employee and volunteer helped to get SCCE/HCCA where it is today.

Modern Healthcare seems to have made an accurate prediction, “Growth Industry.”  It may seem like an easy prediction in hindsight, but I assure you it was a leap of faith at the time.  Some said compliance would simply be another methodology like Total Quality Management and fade away.  Some thought it would be just another activity of the legal department and follow the path of preventative law. Ethicists downplayed compliance to focus on culture. Risk thought compliance was a subset of risk.  Audit thought it was their responsibility but did not commit.  Some just simply didn’t want compliance. Many people intentionally or unintentionally tried to grab the wheel and head for the ditch.  However, countless volunteers and staff created a framework called SCCE/HCCA that allowed thousands of compliance professionals to represent and define their profession.  The profession leading the profession… as it should be.

Honor HCCA’s 20th Anniversary in 2016 by attending the Compliance Institute at the ARIA Las Vegas, April 17-20.

This episode is not eligible for CEU credit.