On June 1, 2017, the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) issued its Semiannual Report to Congress summarizing the activities of that office from October 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017. A review of the enforcement statistics in the report reveals that throughout the transition in administrations the OIG has continued to aggressively pursue health care fraud criminal, civil, and administrative actions. There does not appear to have been any disruption in the focus and intensity of OIG efforts.
For the first half of this fiscal year, the HHS OIG reported 415 criminal and 458 civil actions against individuals or entities that engaged in health-care-related offenses. This is higher than the previous six-month reporting period when 381 criminal and 311 civil actions were reported. This increase in the number of actions did not, however, correspond to an increase in recoveries. The OIG reported over $1.52 billion in investigative receivables due to HHS during this past six months, compared to $1.62 billion in the last half of fiscal year 2016.
The report credits Health Care Fraud Strike Force teams in Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Brooklyn, southern Louisiana, Tampa, Chicago and Dallas with filing charges against 49 individuals or entities, 152 criminal actions, and more than $266.8 million in investigative receivables. This coordinated effort to combine federal, state, and local law enforcement resources began in 2007 and continues to yield the OIG significant results.
The HHS OIG Hotline remained very active the first half of the FY with over 66,000 contacts and 9,970 tips referred for action. Cases originating from Hotline resulted in $9.6 million in expected recoveries. During this reporting period the OIG concluded cases involving more than $26.3 million in civil monetary penalties and assessments and its contractor self-disclosure program accounted for $23 million in receivables.
The OIG’s most recent semiannual report includes a variety of examples of their investigative and enforcement activities.