Code of Ethics
To describe Shepherd Center's core ethical values, principles and ideals applicable to all professional and business conduct.
Shepherd Center is committed to the highest standards of professional and organizational ethics. This Code of Ethics is intended to guide employee behavior and interactions with all individuals. It is the individual responsibility of each Shepherd Center employee to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct.
Each employee must be honest, fair and respectful of others and not make statements that are false, misleading or deceptive.
B. Competence & Maintaining Expertise
Each employee must strive to maintain high standards of competence in their work. They should recognize the boundaries of their particular abilities and the limitations of their expertise. They must provide only those services for which they are qualified by education, training, or experience. Shepherd Center staff who engage in assessment, therapy, teaching or other professional activities must maintain a reasonable level of awareness of current scientific and professional information in their fields and undertake ongoing efforts to maintain competence in the skills they use.
C. Professional Responsibility
Each employee must uphold professional standards of conduct, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior and adapt their methods to the needs of different populations. As necessary, employees should strive to consult with other colleagues, professionals and other institutions in order to serve the best interests of our patients. All employees shall support informed choice by clearly informing patients, proxies or other surrogates about treatment options and their benefits, burdens and risks, with special attention to decision making for patients incapable of making health care choices.
D. Respect for Individual's Rights and Dignity
Each employee must respect the fundamental rights, dignity and worth of all people. An environment that respects an individual's dignity and encourages a strong self-image shall be continuously fostered at Shepherd Center. Each employee must also respect the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, self-determination, and autonomy. Shepherd Center staff must be aware of, and be sensitive to, cultural, individual and role differences, including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status.
Shepherd Center clinical staff must accurately and completely document their professional work in order to facilitate the provision of subsequent clinical services by them or by other professionals, to ensure accountability and to meet other requirements of the facility or the law. Shepherd Center staff must create, maintain, disseminate, store, retain and dispose of records and data relating to their practice in accordance with hospital policy and applicable law. Shepherd Center staff must ensure that all business records are accurate and complete and will contain no false or misleading information.
F. Admission and Discharge
Shepherd Center does not discriminate on admission criteria for race, religion, age, gender identity or the ability to pay. Admission criteria are based primarily on clinical appropriateness and discharge planning. Discharge criteria are based upon clinical guidelines and realistic expectations of the patient and caregivers. Financial assistance and counseling are available to all patients and families.
G. Billing and Fees
Shepherd Center will bill only for services actually rendered. Services rendered must have appropriate documentation and be accurately coded. All billing must comply with requirements of state and Federal payors and conform to all applicable contractual agreements. The Business Ethics & Compliance Program at Shepherd Center operates on the guiding principle: "Without appropriate documentation, the service has not been rendered." All claims for reimbursement must be appropriate for the service(s) rendered.
H. Responsible Stewardship of Health Care Resources
Shepherd Center is committed to conserving limited health care resources by using them efficiently and responsibly, and by distributing them beneficially and cost effectively.
Shepherd Center affirms that the confidentiality and privacy of an individual's medical information may not be compromised. This information must not be disclosed except as otherwise permitted by applicable State and Federal laws. No Shepherd Center employee shall make, for personal use, any copies, photographs, videos, or recordings of any patient, any patient medical information or any patient/guardian personal information without the express written authorization of the patient/guardian and an authorized representative of Shepherd Center.
J. Reporting of Ethical Concerns
All employees are strongly encouraged to report any ethical concerns to one or more of the following: a Supervisor, Manager, Director, Vice-President, the CEO, the Chief Compliance Officer or through Shepherd Center's 24-hour Compliance Hotline (1-800-860-0085).
Please see our list of Policies and Procedures that relate to Ethics:
- Business Ethics and Compliance Program Standards
- Objectives for Business Ethics and Compliance Program
- Business Ethics and Compliance Committee
- Employee Responsibility with the Business Ethics and Compliance Program
- Management Responsibility with the Business Ethics and Compliance Program
- Vendor/Contractor Responsibility for Compliance with Code of Ethics
- Anti-Kickback and Self-Referrals
- Combating Waste, Fraud, and Abuse; Ability to Report Wrongdoing for Federal and Georgia Beneficiaries
- Reporting and Return of Overpayments from Federal Healthcare Programs
- 24-Hour Compliance Line Notification