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Transcript for audio podcast: OIG Outlook 2014: Deputy IG for Management and Policy, Paul Johnson

From the Office of Inspector General of Department of Health and Human Services

http://www.oig.hhs.gov

[Roberta Baskin] Next, we'll hear from the head of the Office of Management and Policy about delivering the needed resources to support our mission. Welcome to Deputy Inspector General Paul Johnson. Paul, briefly explain what it means to deliver the tools needed across OIG, from auditors to special agents.

[Paul Johnson] Sure. People are the heartbeat of our organization at OIG. We have people across the organization who have vast expertise in HHS programs. With that expertise, they also have specific needs to do their jobs on a daily basis. So, what we do in our office is we work in partnership with people across OIG to make sure they have the resources and the systems that they need to complete their mission.

[Roberta Baskin] One of OIG's goals is advancing excellence and innovation. How do you plan to do that in the upcoming year?

[Paul Johnson] Really, by the very nature of our work, we do that every day. We partner with HHS programs across the nation, and our people bring their expertise and bring innovation and excellence, so we seed innovation in HHS on a daily basis.

[Roberta Baskin] Another big focus for OIG is data analysis. How is it supporting our fraud-fighting efforts?

[Paul Johnson] Sure. One of the first things we do is we partner with HHS programs to get the data that is most critical. Then we perform analysis of that data. We look at trends. We look for spikes. We look for decreases. We look for trends across the whole system of data. And from that, we can make conclusions about where we should target our resources. Sometimes we see increases in payments in programs, and then we'll do the next step: we'll target our resources to those areas so we can have the greatest impact. A great example of that is our Medicare Fraud Strike Forces. In these areas, we're able to target our resources, and we're seeing the results on that based on data analysis.

[Roberta Baskin] Well, in addition to fighting fraud, how else is OIG using data?

[Paul Johnson] It's really an agency-wide initiative. Across OIG, all of our staff is looking for data to use, to best target our work, so we can have the greatest impact.

[Roberta Baskin] Well, give us an example of how data analytics has had an impact.

[Paul Johnson] In the mental health area, we've been able to see great decreases in payments.

[Roberta Baskin] In community mental health centers?

[Paul Johnson] Community mental health centers. Absolutely. We've been doing a lot of work in community mental health centers over the years with our partners. Now we're able to take data, look at the decrease in payments, and we're talking about decreases of hundreds of millions of dollars. And that tells us that payments are going to the right providers, who are providing the right service to the public.

[Roberta Baskin] I hate to ask, but what are the challenges ahead in 2014?

[Paul Johnson] Like most Federal agencies, resources have been a challenge over the last couple of years. But we are working very hard to meet those challenges. Our staff is being innovative and looking for ways to ensure excellence in everything we do. So, we're very excited about the future.

[Roberta Baskin] Thank you, Paul, for your enthusiastic support, as well as sharing the challenges that we face in the coming year.

[Paul Johnson] Thanks, Roberta.

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