HHS Office of Inspector General lists top priorities

Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General Janet Rehnquist told the House Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations March 5 that her office’s top priority since Sept. 11 has been making sure that the necessary infrastructure and tools exist to respond to potential future terrorist events, including bioterrorism, and other public health emergencies.

Among the other upcoming priorities are investigations into outpatient cardiac rehab programs, patient dumping, provider outreach, and quality of care in nursing homes. Also on the OIG’s list of priorities are billings for clinical laboratory services and expanded use of civil monetary penalty cases to combat false claims and kickbacks.

Correction

The March 4, 2002, Compliance Hotline article, "Don’t let HIPAA myths derail compliance efforts" was derived without attribution from a three-part series in the e-mail newsletter HFMA Wants You to Know. This newsletter is produced by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) , which is the sole owner of all the content of the newsletter. To read the whole series, go to www.hfma.org/publications.

In addition to this oversight, two points in the Compliance Hotline article should be clarified. The first paragraph implies that the content of the entire article is the result of preliminary results of HFMA’s membership survey on HIPAA readiness. In fact, only the first sentence of the article is a conclusion from the survey. The remainder of the article is the work of the two original authors, Tom Sadauskas and Gail Sausser.

Also, quotes were erroneously attributed directly to each of the original authors. The HIPAA myths series was a joint effort of the original authors, with support from HFMA’s HIPAA@Work Task Force, and the imposition of individual quotes is inaccurate.

Compliance Hotline regrets these errors.