November 16, 2022
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently began to probe hospices in its initial phase of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) audits.
Federal regulators, two years later, are moving forward on audits that closely examine the ways that providers spent these dollars.
Thirty hospice providers from various regions nationwide were included in the first phase, which followed a September OIG report indicating that the federal governments oversight of the program needed improvement.
OIG identified this first sample of providers based on location and the amounts of PRF payments they received, among other factors, according to Andrew Brenton, senior associate and hospice attorney at Husch Blackwell.
“In talking to the OIG as we’ve helped hospices through this auditing process, we’ve learned that the hospices selected were specifically selected based on geography and based on the amount [PRF] payment received,” said Brenton in a recent Husch Blackwell podcast. “But hospices that are affiliated with a health care system were not selected in this audit, because the other OIG teams doing these audits would have selected them as part of a bigger system.”
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