Budget Cuts Force Scale Back of Health Care Fraud Investigations

Facing major budget and staff cuts, federal officials are scaling
back several high-profile health care fraud and abuse investigations, including
an audit of the state insurance exchanges that are set to open later this year
as a key provision of the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and
Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, which investigates Medicare and
Medicaid waste, fraud, and abuse, is in the process of losing 400 staff
members, about 20 percent of its workforce from its peak strength of 1,800 last
year. About 200 will have departed by the end of the year, and the other 200
are slated to be gone by the end of 2015. “As OIG’s budget resources decline,
so do our enforcement and oversight activities,” said an agency document
obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. The OIG noted that it “will not be
able to keep pace” with the rapid growth of taxpayer-subsidized health care anticipated
under the Affordable Care Act.

Source/more: Washington Post

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