Sneak Preview: HHS OIG Calls for Action on Open Recommendations

April 22, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General has released its list of 25 priority recommendations that it maintains, if fully implemented, would help the agency save costs and improve program management. These priority recommendations include reducing improper payments and improving the oversight of grantee compliance, quality assurance and conflicts of interest.

In its “2014 Compendium of Priority Recommendations” (which in years past has been titled the “Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations”), OIG identifies significant recommendations with respect to problems, abuses or deficiencies addressed in OIG reports and testimony before Congress for which corrective actions have not been completed.

“Many of the recommendations in this compendium have seen some progress,” OIG said. “However, as of March 2014, the date of publication, OIG had reason to believe that more should be achieved.”

One priority is to reduce improper payments and fraud, OIG said, adding that while most improper payments are caused by error, some are caused by fraud or other abusive billing practices. In March 2013, OIG found concerns related to improper payments in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and made the following recommendations:

  • assess the need for additional actions to meet improper payment rate reduction targets;
  • develop and report improper payment rate reduction targets and corrective actions plans for the Children’s Health Insurance Program;
  • ensure that calculations for reporting overpayments recaptured are accurate and complete; and
  • ensure that data are retained in accordance with program requirements.

HHS told OIG that it has received state-specific corrective action plans from all states who had CHIP program error rates in fiscal year 2012. However, states were still developing their corrective action plans for error rates for FY 2013.

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