OIG, in its semi-annual report to Congress indicated increased attention to delivering high-impact results while streamlining oversight during fiscal year (FY) 2017. The latest report, posted November 30, covers OIG activities from April 2017 through September 2017.
In the introductory message, Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson stated that “[b]y leveraging advanced analytic techniques to detect potential vulnerabilities and fraud trends, we are better able to target our resources at those areas and individuals most in need of oversight, leaving others free to provide care and services without unnecessary disruption,” According to the report, OIG reported expected investigative recoveries of $4.13 billion during FY 2017, which is down from $5.56 Billion in 2016. OIG also instigated criminal actions against 881 individuals or entities (up from 844 in 2016) and civil actions against 826 individuals or entities (up from 708 in 2016). In addition, 3,244 individuals and entities were excluded from federal health care programs during the report period (down from 3,365 in 2016).
The report also highlighted OIG activities over the period, most notably the massive July 2017 federal-state joint fraud takedown, which was the largest in history and netted more than 400 defendants in 41 federal districts who were charged with participating in fraud schemes involving about $1.3 billion in false billings to Medicare and Medicaid, OIG said. The report noted that addressing the opioid abuse epidemic is a top priority for OIG as it investigates opioid fraud and diversion cases and uses advanced data analytics and tools to detect suspected problems for further review. The report also noted that the July takedown included opioid-related charges against 120 individuals.