Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CMS Hotline not so hot

FierceHealthCare.com is reporting "the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to improve the way its staff and contractor staff process complaints from its waste, fraud and abuse hotline. At the same time, it also needs to upgrade its information systems for processing those complaints, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General said in a review of the effectiveness of the hotline (1-800-HHS-TIPS).  Long timeframes and inefficient processes have delayed starting work on many complaints, the OIG reported.  For 58 percent of complaints, the contractors started work within 30 days of CMS's receipt of the complaints from OIG.  However, for 29 percent of complaints, contractors took more than four months to start work."

A number of my whistleblower clients attempted to stop the fraud by calling government hotlines.  But in almost every hotline report, no action was taken, nor was the whistleblower even contacted.  Government hotlines seem like big black holes.  

Here is the OIG report:
OIG - Processing of Hotline tips

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