A federal health program watchdog agency — the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG) — has given Congress a report on its own work.
HHS OIG inspectors are supposed to help Congress keep tabs on about $800 billion in annual federal spending, including Medicare, Medicaid, the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange program, and other programs created by PPACA.
Daniel Levinson, the HHS OIG inspector general, says in a message at the front of the report that his agency produced about $440 million in investigative receivables for the period covered by the report.
His staff used the report to summarize PPACA implementation reports published earlier in the year, such as a report about the PPACA public exchanges’ difficulties with resolving PPACA exchange application inconsistencies.
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But his staff also talks about matters that could affect future HHS OIG investigations.
For a look at some of the items in the report that relate to future investigations, read on.
1. HHS OIG is still working on PPACA implementation review projects related to a wide variety of PPACA programs
Officials say that, in addition to looking for risks and vulnerabilities in the PPACA public exchange program, they are looking at the PPACA Medicaid expansion program, use of state exchange establishment grants, and the use of PPACA loans to start the new nonprofit, member-owned Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) carriers.
2. HHS OIG thinks HHS needs to update estimates of how much it could save by updating the way it calculates Medicare Advantage plan payments
Section 3201 of PPACA calls for the government to change the way Medicare program managers calculate the payments they make to the insurers that run the Medicare Advantage plans.