OIG assessment of future risk posed by persons who have allegedly engaged in civil healthcare fraud.
The government's primary civil tool for addressing healthcare fraud is the False Claims Act (FCA). Most FCA cases are resolved through settlement agreements in which the government alleges fraudulent conduct and the settling parties do not admit liability. Based on the information it gathers in an FCA case, OIG assesses the future trustworthiness of the settling parties (which can be individuals or entities) for purposes of deciding whether to exclude them from the Federal healthcare programs or take other action.
OIG applies published criteria to assess future risk and places each party to an FCA settlement into one of five categories on a risk spectrum. OIG uses its exclusion authority differently for parties in each category (as described in the criteria and below). OIG bases its assessment on the information OIG has reviewed in the context of the resolved FCA case and does not reflect a comprehensive review of the party. Because OIG's assessment of the risk posed by a FCA defendant may be relevant to various stakeholders, including patients, family members, and healthcare industry professionals, OIG makes public information about where a FCA defendant falls on the risk spectrum.
Parties that OIG determines present the highest risk of fraud will be excluded from Federal healthcare programs to protect those programs and their beneficiaries. Excluded individuals and entities are listed in OIG's Exclusions Database.
Parties are in the High Risk category because they pose a significant risk to Federal healthcare programs and beneficiaries. This is because, although OIG determined that these parties needed additional oversight, they refused to enter CIAs sufficient to protect Federal healthcare programs. Parties in the High Risk category that reached settlements finalized on October 1, 2018 or later are listed here.
Healthcare providers and other entities in the Medium Risk category have signed CIAs with OIG to settle investigations involving Federal healthcare programs. Under these agreements, parties promise to fulfill various obligations in exchange for continuing to participate in the programs. A list of active CIAs is posted on OIG's website.
OIG sometimes concludes that parties present a relatively low risk to Federal healthcare programs. As a result, OIG is not seeking to exclude them from those programs or require a CIA. OIG's cases against these parties are closed without evaluating the effectiveness of any efforts the parties have made to ensure future compliance with Federal healthcare program requirements.
A party may disclose evidence of potential fraud related to Federal healthcare programs to OIG. OIG believes that doing so in good faith and cooperating with OIG's review and resolution process generally demonstrates that the party has an effective compliance program. OIG works to resolve such cases faster, for lower settlement amounts, and with a release from potential exclusion with no CIA or other requirements. More information about OIG's self-disclosure protocol is here.