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June 4, 2020

By: Susan E. Ziel and Andrew W. Breck

Health care and its many statutory, regulatory, and industry “yardsticks” are ever-changing and require regular attention.  In order to stay close to the action, particularly with respect to matters concerning corporate compliance, there are at least three online sources to consider.  The first is Health and Human Services’ (“HHS”) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Newsroom,[1] the second is the HHS’ Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) Newsroom,[2] and the third is the OIG Work Plan Updates.[3]

The CMS Newsroom provides a wealth of information for providers and suppliers who participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. On June 1st, for example, CMS published guidance to states in regard to nursing facilities and COVID-19 survey procedures, enhanced enforcement for infection control deficiencies, and quality improvement activities,[4] which Krieg DeVault has provided a more in-depth analysis by clicking here. Following these CMS updates online is easily done and can assist in keeping current on important developments. 

The OIG Newsroom also provides daily updates on the latest COVID-19 reports, advisory opinions, enforcement actions, recent corporate integrity agreements, and other OIG news, all in one online resource.  Additionally, the OIG publishes its latest announcements, press releases, and testimony from OIG officials on breaking developments. The OIG Newsroom also provides access to informative podcasts and videos that provide useful commentary on the latest reports, advisory opinions, and enforcement activities.  On June 4th, for example, the OIG published a listing of recent enforcement actions resulting in Corporate Integrity Agreements.  The OIG also routinely announces its updates to the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (“LEIE”).  These reports continue to demonstrate the OIG’s expectations regarding “effective” compliance program structure and function which represent important lessons learned for any health care provider or supplier participating in a Federal health care program.

It is also recommended to frequently check the OIG Work Plan webpage entitled “Recently Added Items” which provides monthly updates on the agency’s 2020 Work Plan.  Added Items for May 2020, each with links to the detailed reports, may be of particular interest to you and your organization.[5]

Overall, corporate compliance and COVID-19 updates are important in keeping an organization’s program reality-oriented and responsive to ongoing changes in Federal program requirements.  Take time to “bookmark” these useful online sources and stay informed on the various CMS and OIG developments as part of your monthly schedule. Each of the websites also permits visitors to sign up for updates or newsletters.

If you have any questions or require additional information regarding these and other resources that Integrity Health Strategies and Krieg DeVault can offer to you in the ongoing development of your compliance program efforts, please contact Susan E. Ziel or Andrew W. Breck for more information.