Compliance officers already know that remaining in compliance with OIG-related regulations is one of the most important parts of their job. However, that job has become even more critical as Health & Human Services is rolling out a full-scale crackdown on prohibited employees in 2015.
According to research compiled by Modern Healthcare, the first month of 2015 has already seen a significant increase in the amount and size of the fines levied against healthcare employers for infractions related to OIG hiring enforcement.
In 2014, the total amount of OIG-related fines was $75 million, spread across 45 companies. That alone represents an increase of nearly 40% over 2013 and signals that enforcement will be even harsher in 2015.
- The main categories of individuals that are considered excluded remain the same:Those who have a record of felony conviction for abuse of patients.
- Those who have been convicted of fraud for Medicaid or Medicare.
- Those who have produced or distributed controlled substances.
Why Is Enforcement Being Stepped Up?
For starters, with today’s ever-evolving advances in technology, it’s easier then ever to gather evidence and determine when someone is in violation.
In addition, in an era where the federal government is actively seeking revenues, this is one of the easiest areas for the government to bolster further. The exclusion list has been described by some as “low-hanging fruit” for its easiness to generate revenue.
Last, but certainly not least, is the continuing march of healthcare data and enforcement-related information to the internet. Growing requirements about online healthcare data can cause even experienced compliance officers to shift their focus to other areas, which can in turn lead to accidental oversights that may have significant consequences.
If you’re still hoping for an easy way out of OIG compliance screening, then contact Streamline Verify to see how we can help!