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Transcript for audio podcast: OIG Outlook 2013: Introduction from the Inspector General

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

Hello and welcome to OIG Outlook 2013. I'm Roberta Baskin, Director of Media Communications for the Office of Inspector General. Consider this, health care expenditures account for nearly 25 percent of the Federal budget. So, the ability to maintain effective oversight to health care programs is crucial. Any one investigation can result in millions even billions of dollars returned to taxpayers. Over the next 30 minutes or so, I'll be talking to our senior leadership about the 2013 Work Plan and about OIG priorities for the year ahead; first a message from our Inspector General, Dan Levinson.

Dan Levinson: Hello and welcome. One of the key missions we undertake at the Office of Inspector General is to fight fraud, waste and abuse in health and human services programs. We also recommend ways to make these programs more efficient and effective. By doing so, we protect the millions of Americans who rely on these programs and the investment of our nation's taxpayers. We carry out this mission with a nationwide team of professionals with specialized expertise in auditing, criminal investigations and enforcement, program evaluation and compliance and data analysis. In just a moment our senior executives will provide the details on OIG's priorities over the coming year, our areas of focus and the trends we see developing.

For more than 30 years our commitment to this mission has remained unwavering, but over time our responsibilities have increased and our priorities have expanded as health care programs and practices evolve. And change in health care is more dynamic than ever. Electronic medical records improve quality of care and efficiency and help us uncover cases of fraud and abuse. At the same time, we must guard against the use of electronic records to cover up crimes. We must also be alert to cyber security threats. Targets can include medical records and also on-line payment systems. Medicare and Medicaid are testing new ways to improve quality of care and reduce costs through better care coordination, health information technology and evidence based medicine. We're using more sophisticated tools to protect Medicare from fraud waste and abuse.

For example, OIG analyzes data to discover new trends in criminal behavior and we're working to prevent payment errors and keep unscrupulous providers out of the Medicare program. As HHS programs continue to change, so will the way we conduct our business. But we have to rely on you as well. We share a common goal of making our health care programs work efficiently and effectively and your engagement matters. Now, stay tuned for our presentation. We hope you'll find it interesting and informative.


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