5 Big Targets on the HHS Watchdog’s Hit List

November 10, 2014 – In The News

David Restaino was quoted in the Law360 article, “5 Big Targets on the HHS Watchdog’s Hit List.” Full text can be found in the November 10, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Investigative plans from the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for 2015 show rising scrutiny of Affordable Care Act spending and new inquiries involving patient privacy and Medicare billing.

The OIG included ACA reviews in its annual work plan since the landmark law’s passage in 2010. Audits have grown more numerous over time, and it is likely that trend will continue this year.

By putting health care companies on notice about ACA oversight, the inspector general is making a key contribution to the law’s goals of containing costs, said Fox partner, David Restaino.

“You’ve got to tell people you’re paying attention and really try to scrutinize these expenses,” Restaino explained

For all that’s new, there’s even more that represents a continuation of traditional OIG investigative priorities. For one thing, the OIG announced only about 25 specific new reports for the coming year, about one-third as many as last year.

Also, of 27 pages in this year's work plan outlining pending investigations into Medicare billing, 23 pages concern Parts A and B, whereas just four pages concern Parts C and D.

“All you have to do is look at the number of pages they’re devoting to Medicare Part A and Part B in comparison to everything else,” Restaino noted. “That right there tells you they’re going to be spending a pretty large chunk of their time in that area.”