OIG Reports Major Financial, Enforcement Successes
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that its initiatives produced savings for American taxpayers of over $23 billion in fiscal year 2003, or approximately $1 billion more than last year’s savings. This represents a return of $117 for each dollar spent on OIG audits, evaluations, investigations and other activities.
Acting Principal Deputy Inspector General Dara Corrigan said the savings were achieved through a continuing and intensive campaign against waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and 300 other HHS programs for which the OIG has oversight responsibility.
“These are record savings and they indicate the seriousness of our commitment to protect the taxpayers’ pocketbooks by promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the department’s programs and operations,” Corrigan said. “Through our audits, evaluations and investigations, we will continue to safeguard the integrity of HHS programs and the health and welfare of those they serve.”
The $23 billion in savings consist of $988 million in receivables from investigations, $405 million in audit disallowances, and $21.6 billion in the implementation of OIG recommendations to achieve efficiencies in the Medicare program through reduced costs and improved operations. The savings, for the most part, were independently scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
Besides achieving record savings for the fiscal year, the agency performed or oversaw 2,643 audits, conducted 60 evaluations of department programs, and opened 1,695 new criminal cases, bringing to nearly 2,700 the number of active OIG investigations. Moreover, the OIG’s enforcement actions during the fiscal year resulted in 576 criminal convictions, 243 successful civil actions, and the exclusion of 3,275 individuals and entities from participating in Medicare, Medicaid and other federally sponsored health care programs.
Details of some of the activities are contained in the Office of Inspector General Semiannual Report to the Congress. It is available on the Internet at: http://oig.hhs.gov/publications/docs/semiannual/2003/03fallsemi.pdf