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2017 Year in Review - Eye on Oversight

A recap of OIG's work in 2017, including topics like reaching a $155 million civil settlement with an electronic health records vendor, releasing a data brief on opioids in Medicare Part D highlighting concerns about extreme use and questionable prescribing, and the largest healthcare fraud takedown in history.

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In fiscal year 2017, the HHS OIG reported 881 criminal actions, 826 civil actions and more than four billion dollars in expected recoveries. Let's look at some other highlights from this year.

In May, eClinicalWorks, one of the nation's largest electronic health records vendors-agreed to pay $155 million as part of a settlement with the federal government. This resolved allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting the capabilities of its software. It was the first civil settlement that OIG had with an electronic health records vendor.

In July, OIG took part in the largest health care fraud takedown in history. More than 400 defendants in 41 judicial districts were charged with participating in fraud schemes involving about $1.3 billion in false billings to Medicare and Medicaid. 350 OIG agents took part in this highly-coordinated and data-driven effort.

The day of the takedown, OIG released a data brief on opioids in Medicare Part D highlighting concerns about extreme use and questionable prescribing. It presented data on beneficiaries receiving extreme amounts of opioids and it also identified prescribers who had questionable opioid prescribing patterns.

In August, OIG released an Early Alert to warn citizens of potential cases of patient neglect and abuse in skilled nursing facilities. These potential cases involve failure to provide necessary medical care to patients, and even occurrences of physical abuse and sexual assault.

Finally, OIG testified before Congress to discuss topics like health IT security, the personal care services program, and Medicare and Medicaid program integrity concerns.

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