OIG Principal Deputy Inspector General Speaks at AHLA Fraud and Compliance Forum

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On September 22, 2021, OIG Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm delivered a keynote speech to the American Health Law Association (AHLA) Fraud and Compliance Forum. Consistent with her remarks this spring at the Health Care Compliance Association Compliance Institute, Principal Deputy Inspector General Grimm discussed OIG’s multi-year initiative to modernize OIG’s guidance, data, and other resources. Additionally, she emphasized OIG’s enforcement focus on improving nursing home performance and pandemic response oversight.

Principal Deputy Inspector General Grimm previewed a forthcoming Request for Information (RFI) on OIG’s Modernization Initiative to Improve Its Publicly Available Resources. When released, the RFI will be published on OIG’s website and published in the Federal Register. The RFI will seek feedback on how to improve OIG’s industry resources. During the pandemic, OIG created a frequently asked questions (FAQ) process to provide time-sensitive information to industry stakeholders and, in the RFI, will be seeking feedback on that process. OIG will also seek input on “reimagining” the advisory opinion process, which OIG recognizes that some stakeholders view as slow and cumbersome. OIG also wants to modernize the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) and is considering how best to adopt modern data sharing practices for the LEIE, such as application programming interfaces. In addition to the RFI, OIG also plans to gather input through roundtables and is considering other ways to collect feedback, such as user surveys.

Principal Deputy Inspector General Grimm described OIG as being “laser focused” on spurring significant improvements for the safety, health, and welfare of nursing home residents. She emphasized the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes, particularly beneficiaries of color and dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. OIG is currently conducting work to further understand the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes, reviewing infection prevention and control deficiencies and nursing homes’ reporting of required COVID-19 information.

She also reiterated OIG’s efforts related to COVID-19 oversight and enforcement, noting that since 2020, Congress has passed more than $5 trillion in COVID-19-related relief spending, which is more than all federal spending in 2019. OIG is conducting several audits of the Provider Relief and Uninsured Funds. OIG is also working with the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which includes Inspectors General from multiple federal departments and is evaluating duplicate payments across programs.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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