Corporate Responsibility

Mercy Health has a long-standing and deep commitment to corporate and financial responsibility. Our senior leaders set the tone for our entire organization, reinforcing our commitment to "doing the right thing," which is rooted in our religious heritage and core values.

The Mercy Health Board of Trustees exemplifies this commitment through its strong support for our innovative, systemwide Corporate Responsibility Program, which was established in 1998 to ensure our compliance with healthcare laws, regulations and rules. In addition, the board's Audit and Corporate Responsibility Committee, which was established in 2000, provides governance oversight of Mercy Health's compliance efforts, along with oversight of external financial reporting and a groundbreaking internal audit program.

Corporate Responsibility Summary

Compliance Orientation

All associates, board members and volunteers throughout our health system receive our Core Values in Action booklet to help them better understand our Core Values of compassion, excellence, human dignity, justice, sacredness of life and service and how to demonstrate the behaviors that bring our mission and our corporate ethics to life.  The booklet also outlines common healthcare laws, regulations and rules that impact day to day operations.  They also attend a corporate responsibility orientation session based on the booklet’s content and sign a formal pledge to abide by Mercy Health’s Code of Responsibility and Standards of Responsible Conduct, which appear in the booklet: Mercy Health Core Values in Action booklet and The Jewish Hospital Core Values in Action booklet

All associates are made available computer-based compliance training to support our ongoing education within specialty areas of healthcare. It ensures that they understand and abide by all of the most up-to-date healthcare laws, rules and regulations.

Three-Step Reporting Process

We encourage our associates, volunteers and patients to speak up if they have questions or concerns as to what is the right thing to do in a particular situation or about potential violations of laws, regulations, policies, procedures or about the Mercy Health Standards of Responsible Conduct.

Associates and volunteers are encouraged to talk first with their supervisors or other managers in the organization.  If these individuals cannot help or are not a suitable resource, the next step is to contact the market or corporate home office Corporate Responsibility Officer (PDF). If the concern still cannot be resolved, the third step is to call the 24-hour Mercy Health ReportLine at 1-888-302-9224 or to report the concern via the Mercy Health ReportLine website (www.mercyhealthreportline.com). ReportLine passes the information to one of Mercy Health's Corporate Responsibility Officers, who respond to all such calls. The ReportLine is also available to the outside community and patients who may have questions or concerns.

HIPAA

Associates throughout Mercy Health also receive special training in the federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations that protect the privacy and security of patient health information, and they are held accountable for abiding by them. In compliance with HIPAA, all patients of Mercy Health facilities receive a copy of the facility's Notice of Privacy Practices.

Transparency & Responsible Governance

At Mercy Health, we consistently demonstrate our commitment to transparency and responsible governance. In 2001, we began posting our quarterly financial results on our website for all to see. In addition, we voluntarily adopted policies that either meet or exceed many of the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation passed by Congress in July 2002. These policies are designed to ensure the objectivity, independence and expertise of our board of trustees and its audit committee and to ensure clear, concise and complete financial reporting and disclosure.

Ethics

A focus on ethics has characterized Mercy Health's approach to clinical and business issues since our health system was founded in 1986. In fact, Mercy Health has been at the forefront nationally in addressing such issues as palliative care and corporate responsibility. Our approach to ethics is grounded in the Judeo-Christian spirit, traditions, the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and Catholic social teaching.

Maximizing the Good

Our ethical approach is embedded in how we care for patients, as well as in how we conduct our business relationships, treat our employees and respond to multiple stakeholders. While avoiding wrongdoing is a crucial consideration in such clinical and business decision-making, the principal focus of Mercy Health's ethical discernment is to maximize the good that we are able to achieve on behalf of the people and communities we serve.

Resources to Support Ethical Decision-Making

Mercy Health's corporate director of ethics works to continuously enhance the understanding of clinicians and managers concerning the ethical framework that ought to influence all facets of work within the organization and of how such an understanding can maximize the good achieved by the organization. Most Mercy Health hospitals have an ethics committee that serves as an important resource for clinicians, staff members and administrators, as well as for family members facing difficult decisions about their loved ones' care. Moreover, our extensive and innovative Corporate Responsibility Program provides policies, processes, oversight and training to ensure our compliance with healthcare laws, regulations and rules.

Commitment to Mission-Based Decision-Making

The emphasis we place on ethics is further reflected in our commitment to another important type of decision-making -- mission-based decision-making. The purpose of mission-based decision-making is to ensure that all strategic, operational and clinical decisions are conducive to the fulfillment of the fundamental purpose of our organization -- our mission. That mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of our communities with emphasis on people who are poor and under-served.

To instill the practice of mission-based decision-making in all of our leaders, we have established an educational program consisting of 13 video segments. The program underscores for leaders how important their decisions are to assure the future of our organization and the Catholic health ministry.

Agents, Vendors, Contractors Notice

Mercy Health has a longstanding, effective Corporate Responsibility Program that sustains our culture of "doing the right thing." Our program includes standards and procedures; dedicated compliance staff; education; communications methods to encourage reports of concerns; investigations into concerns; monitoring and auditing for compliance and accuracy; accountability and corrective action when we detect an error; and ongoing training on new laws, regulations and rules.

We have also established provisions for preventing fraud and abuse and are required to communicate those provisions to our vendors and contractors. As a continuing condition of doing business with Mercy Health, our vendors and contractors must review and agree to abide by these provisions.

The Notice to Agents statements posted below explain Mercy Health's fraud and abuse prevention provisions. We have posted statements for each of the states in which our facilities are located because each statement references state-specific regulations.

Mercy Health Notice to Agents