OIG Requests Inquiries on Enforcement Related to COVID-19 Arrangements

Lexology

On April 3, 2020, OIG issued a process for inquiries to be submitted to OIG about the application of administrative enforcement authorities against certain arrangements directly connected to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). OIG particularly asked for inquiries related to the Federal anti-kickback statute and civil monetary penalty prohibitions on beneficiary inducements, where enforcement discretion may allow the healthcare system to function during this pandemic. OIG responses, including its first two responses described below, will be publicly available through a frequently asked questions (FAQ) posting on the OIG COVID-19 portal.

This initiative continues OIG’s efforts to simplify provider compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, OIG issued a letter outlining its general perspective on enforcement during the COVID-19 crisis and this new process is intended to clarify OIG’s position. Questions can be submitted to OIGComplianceSuggestions@oig.hhs.gov with sufficient facts to allow for an understanding of the key parties and terms of the arrangement. OIG will not review questions related to the Federal Stark Law (providers can ask the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for a waiver here) or the False Claims Act, and any feedback provided is limited to arrangements in existence during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Currently OIG’s FAQs consists of two responses to public inquiries ...

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