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Office of Inspector General FAQ

The Office of Inspector General is at the forefront of the Nation's efforts to fight waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and more than 300 other U.S. Department of Health & Human Services programs. Below are answers to some of the common questions we receive from the public or providers.

A medical procedure was done without my consent. Can you send me a complaint form?

Report medical procedures done without consent to your State’s medical licensing board; the HHS OIG does not have jurisdiction over such matters.

The Federation of State Medical Boards maintains an online listing of each state’s medical board contact information. It can be found here: http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html )

Your website offers a colorful Report Fraud poster in English. Is it available in Spanish?

No, that poster (Contractor Code of Ethics and Business Conduct Poster  (PDF)) is only available in English.

Please let me know how I can get a monthly list of excluded individuals online or manually for health care professionals.

The OIG updates its List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) monthly. Sign up here (insert link) to receive email notifications when that list will be updated or sign up here (insert link) to receive an RSS feed of updates.

Answers to a specific question about the LEIE may be in our Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have a question after reading the FAQs, contact the Exclusions Program directly at
HHS, OIG, OI
Exclusions Staff
7175 Security Boulevard, Suite 210
Baltimore, MD 21244
Phone: 410-281-3060
Fax: 410-265-6780
Email: sanction@oig.hhs.gov

Whom should I contact about a possible off-label medical device promotion from a sales representative?

Contact the OIG Hotline to file a report. Use the procedures outlined on the following OIG webpage: http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud

If you wish further clarification on off-label marketing, please contact the OIG’s Office of Counsel to the Inspector General - Industry Guidance Branch by calling 202-619-0335. Leave a message and one of the attorneys will contact you.

My Social Security check didn’t arrive this month. What do I do?

The Social Security Administration is no longer part of the Department of Health & Human Services. We have no jurisdiction regarding Social Security matters.

If you wish to contact the Social Security Administration, please refer to its website at http://www.ssa.gov for contact information.

Can I file a Federal complaint against a county or State child support agency?

The OIG Hotline handles complaints regarding suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or misconduct for programs administered or funded by the Department of Health & Human Services. Follow the procedures outlined at http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/hotline/ to file a complaint.

Additional information about child support can be found at the Administration for Child and Families website .

What types of tips can be reported to the Department of Health & Human Services OIG?

Most tips fall into the following categories:

  • fraud/waste in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants,
  • crimes or gross misconduct committed by HHS employees/contractors,
  • conflicts of interest on the part of HHS employees,
  • cost overruns in HHS programs/initiatives due to mismanagement,
  • false applications for HHS contracts/grants,
  • failure to provide the services/products for HHS grants/contracts,
  • false/fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare/Medicaid,
  • kickbacks/inducements for referrals by Medicare/Medicaid providers,
  • medical identity theft involving Medicare and/or Medicaid beneficiaries,
  • door-to-door solicitation of Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries,
  • misrepresentation of Medicare private plans,
  • failure of a hospital to evaluate and stabilize an emergency patient,
  • abuse/neglect in nursing homes and other long term care facilities, and
  • failure to pay child support (limited to interstate cases).

If your complaint doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, consider contacting a different agency’s Office of Inspector General. The Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency maintains a list of all Federal agency OIG websites here http://www.ignet.gov/igs/homepage1.html#s .

Tips not typically forwarded after OIG review include:

  • complaints about HHS policy (Contact the Office of the Secretary .)
  • allegations by HHS employees of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual preference (contact your agency's Equal Employment Opportunity officer).
  • appeals of administrative decisions made by HHS agencies/contractors, including Medicare payment decisions and contract/grant awards (consult the guidelines for the particular program.)
  • appeals of judicial decisions by State/Federal courts involving HHS programs (contact the court that issued the decision.)
  • complaints of failure to safeguard medical information, i.e., HIPAA violations (contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/.)
  • customer service complaints involving HHS employees/contractors (contact management of the relevant agency.)
  • Social Security disability fraud (contact the Social Security Administration OIG http://www.ssa.gov/oig/guidelin.htm.)
  • failure to pay child support (intrastate cases) (contact the court that issued the child support order.)
  • allegations of identity theft unrelated to HHS programs (contact the Federal Trade Commission .)

I am trying to have my mail stopped at my address. However, I am told that only the entire address can be stopped, and then the other person can restart it all and be given my mail.

You have contacted the OIG at the Department of Health & Human Services. We have no jurisdiction regarding the U.S. Postal Service.

If you wish to contact the OIG at the U.S. Postal Service, please refer to its website at http://www.uspsoig.gov/

I am trying to determine which local OIG office to mail copies of forms generated when the financial accountability of a Post Office is transferred from one person to another. Can you help?

You have contacted the OIG at the Department of Health & Human Services. We have no jurisdiction regarding the U.S. Postal Service.

If you wish to contact the OIG at the U.S. Postal Service, please refer to its website at http://www.uspsoig.gov/

I applied for a position with the Federal Government, but received an email stating I do not meet the position’s minimum requirements. I wish to challenge this.

Please contact the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to follow up on the email notification you received and the procedures for challenging the findings.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
1900 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20415
Phone: 202-606-1800
Website: www.opm.gov

Why does my doctor have a mandate to protect the privacy of my health care information, but, if my health care information is given to a lawyer, that lawyer doesn’t have the same mandate?

This question references privacy concerns and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Such issues are handled by the HHS Office for Civil Rights. ( http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/index.html )

Why has Veterans Affairs fallen behind in paying the money it owes to nonprofit companies that provide services to this country’s veterans?

The OIG of the Department of Health & Human Services does not have jurisdiction over programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Contact the OIG at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Its website is http://www.va.gov/oig/

How can I file a complaint against my health insurance company for refusing to pay my medical bills?

Contact your State’s insurance department if your plan is regulated by them. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners maintains a list of state insurance departments and their contact information is at http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm .

Some insurance plans fall under the jurisdiction of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, also referred to as ERISA. The U.S. Department of Labor regulates these plans. More information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/erisa_enforcement.html .

Is there a program specific audit guide for contractors or subcontractors who are being audited?

No, there is not a program specific audit guide. OMB Circular A-133 is available from the OMB website http://www.omb.gov .

Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201