Transcript for the audio podcast: OIG Update
From the Office of Inspector General of Department of Health and Human Services
Welcome to one of a continuing series of podcasts highlighting the work of the Office of Inspector General.
This is Mike Kane, inviting you to follow us on our website at oig.hhs.gov and on Twitter @OIGatHHS.
Since our last podcast, OIG released the 2013 Work Plan, which outlines OIG's planned reviews and audits for the fiscal year, and launched "OIG Outlook 2013." In this half-hour video initiative, OIG's senior executives discuss emerging trends in combating fraud, waste, and abuse in Federal health care programs, OIG's top priorities for 2013, and the Work Plan.
OIG also released several reports.
One found that Medicare Part D inappropriately paid $25 million dollars for prohibited refills of addictive drugs, such as oxycodone.
In related reports on dietary supplements, OIG recommended that the Food and Drug Administration widen surveillance of the supplements to ensure truthful labeling.
OIG also urged FDA to seek authority to fine supplement manufacturers that fail to meet registration requirements.
Listen to a podcast discussion of the dietary supplement reports on our website.
Another report noted that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had 14 breaches of protected health information over 15 months. OIG recommended improvements in notifying beneficiaries affected by the breaches.
In a nationwide takedown, OIG and other Federal agents seized 91 people charged in Medicare false claims scams worth more than $429 million dollars. Inspector General Dan Levinson said the coordinated operation "demonstrates that law enforcement is flexible enough to address health care fraud in its many evolving forms."
Go to our website to watch a video of the Inspector General's remarks at a news conference.
OIG has added researcher Poul Thorsen to its Most Wanted Health Care Fugitives list. Authorities say that Thorsen stole grant money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used it to buy a home, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and two cars. He is in Denmark awaiting extradition to the United States.
Xiomara Rodriguez, Orlando Mena, and Akim Mena were captured in Miami. Investigators believe that the trio billed Medicare more than $2.2 million dollars for office visits and tests that were medically unnecessary. Rodriguez and Orlando Mena are the divorced parents of Akim Mena.
Also captured was Ordiel Gonzalez, wanted on charges of submitting about $1.2 million dollars in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services that were medically unnecessary, not prescribed by a licensed provider, and never rendered.
Godwin Nzeocha, an OIG Most Wanted Fugitive who was arrested in June, was convicted in a multimillion-dollar scam. As part of his plea, he agreed to forfeit more than $1 million dollars. Sentencing is set for January.
In a high-profile child support enforcement case, agents nabbed Raihan Chowdhury upon his return to the United States. The doctor failed to pay over $1 million dollars in child support and had fled to Bangladesh, leaving his wife and children homeless.
In other actions, investigations in several cities of $100 million dollars in false Medicare claims led to a guilty plea in a Georgia fraud case. That case involved several phony durable medical equipment companies in Savannah; theft of the identities of hundreds of Medicare beneficiaries and dozens of doctors; hundreds of thousands of dollars in bogus claims for health care services that were never provided; and money laundering.
OIG also released two advisory opinions, closed at least nine corporate integrity agreements, and added two new CIAs to its list.
See our website to read about the results of an OIG Roundtable on corporate integrity agreement best practices.
For links to these reports and stories and more, go to our website or follow us on Twitter.
Thanks for listening.
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Priority recommendations summarized.
OIG planned projects.
Significant OIG activities in 6-month increments.