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Post By: Adam Turteltaub
In this podcast Rob DeConti, Assistant Inspector General for Legal Affairs within the office of counsel to the Inspector General at HHS, was good enough to share a tremendous amount of insight into what the OIG is seeing, thinking and doing.
As he explains, the public health emergency has had an enormous impact on the OIG, just like everyone else. It led to an opportunity to reassess, and also to handle things differently so as not to get in the way of the provision of care. Many corporate integrity agreements, for example, were paused, and discretion was used in investigations to reduce the impact on patients.
In addition, the office affirmatively took several steps, such as the November 2020 special fraud alert on speaker programs. They flagged several factors that seemed suspect, such as little or no substantive information presented, alcohol being served, lavish meals, an event held at a restaurant or sports venue, or other venues not conducive to learning.
Telehealth has also been an area of keen attention. As he notes, it has played a vital role during the current crisis and offers great promise. At the same time, though, fraudsters have stepped in with a number of schemes, including stealing patient information and billing for care that never was delivered.
Rob also provides insight into some of the issues facing nursing homes, charities set up by pharmaceutical companies that were not as independent as claimed, and the persistent problem of kickbacks.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he and the OIG’s office have reached out to the compliance community for feedback. As a part of their modernization efforts they are asking for the community’s comments on the efforts to improve the publicly available resource that the OIG provides. They are eager to hear from the compliance community about the best vehicles for delivering information, and the content and guidance that would be most meaningful.
He strongly urges the compliance community to submit their thoughts.
Listen in, learn what he has to say, and then feel free to share your thoughts with the OIG’s office.