The mission of The Billers’ Association for Long-Term Care is to build a collaborative community for long-term care billing professionals.
Code of Ethics
The Billers’ Association Code of Ethics serves as a guide for the professional behavior of its members. This code of ethical standards for members of the Billers’ Association strives to promote and maintain the highest standard of professional service and conduct among its members. Adherence to these standards assures public confidence in the integrity and service of all members.
The ethical obligations of Billers’ Association members include:
- The proper use of medical records and the documentation contained therein for quality and reimbursement purposes.
- The protection of patient privacy and confidential information, and disclosure of information. Both handwritten and computerized medical health records contain many clinical stories—stories that must be protected on behalf of the individual and the aggregate community served in the healthcare system.
Ethical obligations are paramount, regardless of the employment site or the method of collection, storage, and security of health information. Sensitive information (genetic, adoption, drug, alcohol, sexual, and behavioral information) requires special attention to prevent misuse.
All Billers’ Association members agree to maintain the highest standard of personal and professional conduct. Members shall respect the rights of residents, clients, employers, and all other colleagues. The Billers’ Association is committed to recognizing the intrinsic worth of each member. Members define professional values as:
- Acting in a manner which brings honor to self, peers, and profession
- Committing to continuing education and lifelong learning
- Performing association duties honorably
- Strengthening professional membership
- Representing the profession to the public
- Promoting and participating in research
These professional values require balancing competing interests and obligations of those who seek access to health information and require an understanding of ethical decision-making.
The Billers’ Association Code of Ethics serves five purposes:
- Identifies core values on which the Billers’ Association is based.
- Summarizes broad ethical principles that reflect the profession's core values and establishes a set of ethical principles to guide decision-making and actions.
- Helps billing professionals identify relevant considerations when professional obligations conflict or ethical uncertainties arise.
- Orients colleagues new to the field to the Billers’ Association’s mission, values, and ethical principles.
Articulates a set of guidelines that the billing professional can use to assess whether they have engaged in unethical conduct.
Application of the Code of Ethics
The Billers’ Association Code of Ethics outlines aspirational principles and guidelines. It reflects the commitment of all individuals, agencies, organizations, and bodies allied with the association to uphold the profession's values. The Code of Ethics does not provide a set of rules that prescribe how to act in all situations. Specific applications of the code must take into account the context in which it is being considered and the possibility of conflicts among the code's values, principles, and guidelines. Ethical responsibilities flow from all human relationships, from the personal and familial to the social and professional. Further, The Billers’ Association Code of Ethics does not specify which values, principles, and guidelines are the most important and ought to outweigh others in instances when they conflict.
The following ethical principles are based on the core values of The Billers’ Association for Long-Term Care. They apply to all members. Long-term care billing professionals shall:
- Advocate, uphold, and defend the individual’s right to privacy and the doctrine of confidentiality in the use and disclosure of information.
- Use only legal and ethical means in all professional dealings and shall refuse to cooperate with, or condone by silence, the actions of those who engage in fraudulent, deceptive, or illegal acts.
- Put service and the health and welfare of persons before self-interest, and conduct themselves in the practice of the profession so as to bring honor to themselves, their peers, and to their profession.
- Preserve, protect, and secure personal health information in any form or medium and hold in the highest regard the contents of the records and other information of a confidential nature, taking into account the applicable statutes and regulations.
- Refuse to participate in or conceal unethical practices or procedures.
- Advance their specialty knowledge and practice through continuing education, research, publications, and presentations.
- Recruit and mentor peers and colleagues to develop and strengthen the professional workforce.
- State truthfully and accurately their credentials, professional education, and experiences.
- Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration in situations supporting long-term care.
- Respect the inherent dignity and worth of every person.
- Avoid participation in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud and abuse, or deception.