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June 2019 HHS OIG Work Plan Updates


Each month, we are pleased to share the most recent additions to the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) Work Plan items. Starting in June 2017 – OIG has been updating their Work Plan monthly with any new changes to the active list. Let’s take a look at the new updates from this month.  

What is the OIG Work Plan?

The HHS OIG Work Plan sets forth various projects that OIG plans to undertake during the fiscal year (FY) and beyond.

Projects listed in the Work Plan span HHS’s operating divisions, including the following: 

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  • Various state and local governments – evaluating the use of federal funds as well as the administration of HHS

*Some of the projects described in the Work Plan are statutorily required.

June’s agenda includes seven new items from HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG). Let’s walk through some of the latest releases so you can address each item within your compliance program, if applicable.

  1. Review of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Strategic Communication Contracts

  2. Opioid Use in Medicare Part D in 2018

  3. Review of Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs Charge Card Programs

  4. Opioid Use in Medicare Part D in Missouri

Review of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Strategic Communication Contracts

The federal government adheres to guidance from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) for contracting to receive goods and services from a variety of vendors or third parties. The Department of Health and Human Services provides acquisition policies and procedures that implement and supplement the FAR.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) will be reviewing CMS’ contracts for strategic communications work according to applicable federal statutes, regulations, and HHS policies and procedures.

Opioid Use in Medicare Part D in 2018

47,600 opioid-related overdose deaths were recorded in the United States in 2017. In order to address this crisis, HHS is looking internally for answers with supported health insurance plans, including Medicare Part D prescriptions.

OIG will be creating a data brief regarding Medicare Part D opioid spending in 2018. The report will aim to identify potential red flags based on spending data, beneficiary behavior, prescriber activity, and more.

Review of Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs Charge Card Programs

It’s no secret that HHS has been in the spotlight recently with allegations and reports of negligence and overspending federal funds. Top leadership resignation from former Health Secretary, Tom Price, and allegations of mishandled funds from Seema Verma, the current Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have put the department in quite a media storm.

In a recent HHS OIG risk assessment of HHS’ charge card program for FY 2017, it was identified that the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) had a high risk of inappropriate travel card and purchase card transactions. Government agencies must establish and maintain internal controls for the charge card program in compliance with the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Charge Card Act), Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-13-21, and Implementation of the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012.

HHS OIG is required to conduct risk assessments each year to “analyze the risks of illegal, improper, and erroneous purchases” related to the agency purchase card and travel card programs. OIG will be reviewing the IEA’s travel card and purchase card programs to determine whether they complied with federal requirements.

Opioid Use in Medicare Part D in Missouri

Staggering numbers have been reported in the year 2017 for opioid-related overdose deaths across the United States, with 952 individuals in Missouri alone. Important evaluations from HHS are being conducted to identify Medicare Part D opioid use in Missouri in 2018 to help prevent the spread of opioid abuse or misuse. HHS OIG aims to address the opioid crisis by discovering the beneficiaries who are at the highest risk of opioid overdose or abuse. 

Find the full list of Recently Added Items on OIG’s site. Take a look at our recaps of all the archived releases by visiting the ProviderTrust Work Plan page.

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ProviderTrust Mike Rosen Cofounder

Written by Michael Rosen, Esq.

ProviderTrust Co-Founder, mrosen@providertrust.com

Michael brings over 20 years of experience founding and leading risk mitigation businesses, receiving numerous accolades such as Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500 Award and Nashville Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

 Connect with Michael on LinkedIn

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