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Transcript for audio podcast: March 2014 OIG Monthly Update

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

http://oig.hhs.gov

Welcome to one of a continuing series of podcasts highlighting the work of the Office of Inspector General.

This is Mike Kane, inviting you to follow us on our website (oig.hhs.gov) and on Twitter (@OIGatHHS).

"Hospitals should be required to perform random drug tests on all health care workers with access to drugs." That's the message from an op-ed piece by IG Dan Levinson and Special Agent Erika T. Broadhurst, published March 12, in the New York Times. You can read the op-ed on our website.

The Inspector General presented the keynote address at the Health Care Compliance Association's 18th Annual Compliance Institute in San Diego.

OIG's Compendium of 25 Priority Recommendations is on our website. The recommendations show how government can save money, improve program management and ensure quality care and the safety of beneficiaries.

Visit our website, too, for an OIG perspective on oversight of Health and Human Services grants and contracts. You can watch OIG videos and listen to our podcasts to learn about grant fraud, as well as vulnerabilities linked to Hurricane Sandy grants and contracts.

Since our last podcast, OIG has issued a number of reviews.

The first nationwide Medicaid Fraud Control Unit annual report is on our website. For fiscal year 2013 statistics, check out our interactive map and state-by-state chart.

The New York Medicaid OIG reported a record $851 million dollars in recoveries in 2013.

OIG found in one report that New York claimed about $320 million dollars above its actual costs from Medicaid for some residential rehabilitation services.

Listen to a podcast on the New York report.

OIG found that the Food and Drug Administration's concern over leaks was reasonable but that the agency did an incomplete risk assessment before it monitored workers' computers.

OIG found in another report that manufacturer rebates and reduced payments to providers could mean big savings on diabetic test strips.

Check our latest Spotlight: a look at OIG's efforts to fight all-to-prevalent diabetes-supplies fraud and waste.

One-third of Medicare nursing home residents were harmed as a result of the care they received, OIG found in another study.

Listen to a podcast on adverse events in skilled nursing facilities.

A doctor licensed in New York and New Jersey is to pay $1.5 million dollars and agreed to a 15-year exclusion as a provider from federal healthcare programs to resolve OIG allegations of thousands of false Medicare claims.

Halifax, a Florida hospital system, is to pay $85 million dollars to settle allegations of improper financial ties to referring doctors. A U.S. attorney said, "...Providers should be motivated... by what is best for their patients, not their pocketbooks."

Teva Pharmaceuticals and a subsidiary, IVAX LLC, are to pay $27.6 million dollars to settle claims that they made payments to induce prescriptions of an antipsychotic drug for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Diagnostic Imaging Group, which runs a chain of facilities, is to pay $15.5 million dollars to resolve false billing and kickback allegations. "Paying physicians for their referrals and submitting false claims to increase Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements - as was alleged in this case - simply cannot be tolerated," said IG Dan Levinson.

Long-term-care pharmacy Omnicare, based in Ohio, is to pay $4.19 million dollars to resolve allegations that it sought and received kickbacks from drugmaker Amgen. Authorities assert that Omnicare was paid to switch Medicaid patients from a competitor drug to Amgen's product, Aranesp.

A New Jersey internist admitted taking bribes in exchange for test referrals to a laboratory. Twenty-three people have now been convicted in the long-running $100 million dollar scheme.

Seven defendants were convicted in a $97 million dollar Houston Medicare fraud that included kickbacks, bogus mental health services and false billing.

OIG Most Wanted deadbeat parent Joseph Stroup owes more than $550,000 dollars, authorities say. His whereabouts is unknown.

John Crosslin, who authorities say owes about $104,000 in child support, was arrested in Arizona. Learn more on our website.

OIG Most Wanted fugitive Nurista Grigoryan, who fled after being convicted, posed as a doctor in a $20 million dollar prescription fraud scheme.

Another OIG fugitive, Ernesto Hernandez, charged in a $4 million dollar scam and on the run nearly 6 years, was captured in Miami.

Check our website to read the latest Capitol Hill testimony by OIG officials.

Gloria Jarmon, Deputy Inspector General for Audit Services, testified about strengthening the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program.

Brian Martens, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Miami Regional Office, testified on how we can best protect seniors and taxpayers from Medicare fraud.

And Robert Vito, Regional Inspector General for Evaluation and Inspections, Philadelphia, testified about oversight of Medicare contractors by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

For links to these reports and stories and more, go to our website or follow us on Twitter.

And for more on the fight against health care fraud, waste and abuse, click "More News" on the podcast webpage.

Thanks for listening.

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