Tag Archives: OIG

OIG Issues Annual Solicitation of Suggestions for New Fraud Alerts, Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is inviting public recommendations for new or modified safe harbor provisions under the federal anti-kickback statute.  The OIG also invites suggestions for new OIG Special Fraud Alerts to provide guidance to health care providers regarding “practices OIG finds potentially fraudulent … Continue Reading

OIG Semiannual Report Highlights FY 2016 Fraud Recoveries, Enforcement Actions

The HHS Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) latest Semiannual Report to Congress highlights top audits, investigations, and enforcement activities for the period of April 1 to September 30, 2016 and summarizes overall accomplishments for fiscal year (FY) 2016. Notably, the OIG reports: Expected FY 2016 recoveries will exceed $5.66 billion, including nearly $1.2 billion in audit … Continue Reading

GAO Assesses Impact of Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program on Beneficiary Access, OIG Documents Market Share for Diabetes Testing Supplies

The number of Medicare beneficiaries who received durable medical equipment (DME) items generally fell after Round 2 of competitive bidding program (CBP) and the national mail-order program for diabetes testing supplies were implemented July 1, 2013, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued this fall. Specifically, from 2012 to 2014, the number of … Continue Reading

OIG Issues CMP, Anti-kickback Safe Harbor Final Rules

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a final rule amending the safe harbors to the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules to protect certain payment practices and business arrangements from criminal prosecution or civil sanctions under the AKS (Final Rule). … Continue Reading

OIG Spreads Holiday Cheer By Increasing “Nominal Value” Limits for Gifts to Medicare Beneficiaries

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has increased the value of permissible gifts that may be made to Medicare beneficiaries without running afoul of the civil monetary penalty (CMP) provision prohibiting beneficiary inducements (Social Security Act § 1128A(a)(5)).  The statute provides for CMPs of up to $10,000 for offers or transfers to a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary … Continue Reading

OIG “Investigative Advisory” Highlights Potential Medicaid Fraud, Patient Harm Stemming from Personal Care Services

The OIG has issued an “Investigative Advisory on Medicaid Fraud and Patient Harm Involving Personal Care Services” that identifies various “fraud schemes” it has encountered involving personal care services (PCS) — nonmedical assistance typically provided by an attendant working for a personal care agency.  PCS is an optional Medicaid benefit offered in certain states.  According … Continue Reading

OIG Determines Most Medicare Chiropractic Service Claims Don’t Comply with Medicare Rules

The OIG estimates that CMS made $358.8 million in improper Medicare payments for chiropractic services in 2013 – totaling 82 percent of Medicare chiropractic services in that period (note, however, that these findings were based on a small pool of 105 services for which Medicare paid $2,712). According to the OIG, the documentation provided by … Continue Reading

OIG Examines Compliance with Hospice Election Statement, Terminal Illness Certification Requirements

A recent OIG report examined whether hospices are meeting all requirements associated with the election statement that Medicare beneficiaries sign when they choose hospice care, and whether physicians are meeting all requirements for certifying Medicare beneficiaries for hospice care.  According to the OIG, more than one third of hospice general inpatient (GIP) stays in 2012 … Continue Reading

OIG Report Highlights MFCU Achievements

The OIG has released its Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report, which compiles data on investigations and prosecutions by the 50 MFCUs. According to the OIG, MFCUs attained 1,553 convictions in FY 2015, the highest in the last five years. Almost one-third of these convictions involved personal care services attendants, and 71% … Continue Reading

HHS Proposes Changes to State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have proposed amendments to the regulations governing State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs). The proposed rule would reflect statutory changes and policies adopted since the MFCU regulations were initially issued in 1978. Among other things, the rule would incorporate statutory … Continue Reading

GAO, OIG Issue Reports on Medicare Part B Drug Payment Issues

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued several reports on various Medicare Part B drug reimbursement issues. In a report entitled “Medicare Part B: Data on Coupon Discounts Needed to Evaluate Methodology for Setting Drug Payment Rates,” the GAO assessed the impact of manufacturer coupon programs on … Continue Reading

OIG Highlights Varying Local Medicare Part B Drug Coverage Policies; Recommends Single Entity to Make Drug Coverage Determinations

The OIG has issued a report entitled “MACs Continue to Use Different Methods to Determine Drug Coverage,” which reviews how Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) make Medicare Part B drug coverage determinations and ensure that claims are paid according to these determinations. Based on the results of a survey of MACs regarding 2012 Part B drug … Continue Reading

OIG Examines Adverse Events in Rehab Hospitals

According to a recent HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, about 29% of Medicare beneficiaries experienced adverse or temporary harm events during their rehabilitation hospital stay, based on sample of 417 beneficiaries in March 2012. This rate is similar to the incidence of adverse events in acute-care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. The OIG … Continue Reading

OIG Cautions that States May Be Claiming Matching Funds for Privately-Operated Hospitals

The OIG has issued a memo to CMS suggesting that some states may be claiming matching funds for government-owned but privately-operated hospitals, where no state or local government funds are used to operate the hospital. The OIG suggests that CMS consider requiring that an entity be operated by a unit of government in order to … Continue Reading

Obama Administration, Congress Take Steps to Fight Opioid Epidemic

HHS has announced a series of actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, as Congress has cleared the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for the President’s signature. As part of the HHS activities, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published a final rule to expand from 100 to 275 the number … Continue Reading

OIG, CMS Focus New Scrutiny on Home Health Industry: Additional Investigative and Enforcement Activity Likely to Follow

On June 22, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a comprehensive report detailing its nationwide analysis of common characteristics in home health fraud cases. In tandem with this report, the OIG issued an Alert on improper arrangements and conduct by and among home health agencies (“HHAs”) and physicians. … Continue Reading

OIG Identifies Continued Vulnerabilities in Medicare Provider-Based Facility Payment Policy

A new OIG report examines CMS’s oversight of Medicare billing by provider-based facilities – that is, facilities that operate under the ownership, administrative, and financial control of a hospital and meet other requirements, and that bill as an outpatient department of the hospital rather than a freestanding facility. The OIG observes that Medicare payments under … Continue Reading

OIG Faults State Efforts to Identify 340B Drug Claims; Cites Risk of Duplicate Discounts, Forgone Rebates

The OIG recently examined how states that pay for drugs through Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) identify and exclude 340B drug claims when collecting Medicaid rebates, since states are prohibited from collecting “duplicate discounts” (i.e., when manufacturers pay Medicaid rebates on drugs sold at the discounted 340B price).  The OIG also reviewed potential vulnerabilities that … Continue Reading

As CMS Gears Up for Latest Round of DMEPOS Competitive Bidding, OIG Faults CMS Vetting of Winning Suppliers’ Licensure Status

CMS recently released the names of the new contract suppliers under the Round 2 Recompete of the Medicare durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program and the national mail-order competition for diabetes supplies. The CMS announcement was followed shortly by release of an HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report that … Continue Reading

OIG Spring 2016 Semiannual Report to Congress Highlights Enforcement/Investigative Accomplishments

The OIG has issued its Spring 2016 Semiannual Report to Congress, which describes significant enforcement and investigative activities relating to HHS programs during the first half of FY 2016 (October 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016). The OIG reports expected recoveries of more than $2.77 billion ($554.7 million in audit receivables and about $2.22 billion … Continue Reading
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