OIG Strategic Plan: Oversight of COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

The Office of Inspector General has announced a strategic plan: Oversight of COVID-19 Response and Recovery.  At this point, this is a quick, interesting read – 7 pages.  Please share this plan with your team.

“The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created unprecedented challenges for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and for the delivery of health care and human services to the American people. HHS leads the Federal public health and medical response during public health emergencies.

This plan sets forth the four goals that drive the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG’s) strategic planning and mission execution with respect to HHS’s COVID-19 response and recovery. These goals are to (1) protect people, (2) protect funds, (3) protect infrastructure, and (4) promote effectiveness of HHS programs—now and into the future. This plan highlights our main objectives and ongoing and potential OIG work to advance each goal. Additional information about OIG work related to COVID-19 is available on our website, COVID-19 Portal.

OIG is using risk assessment and data analytics to identify, monitor, and target potential fraud, waste, and abuse affecting HHS programs and beneficiaries and to promote the effectiveness of HHS’s COVID-19 response and recovery programs. We use expert staff and modern tools and technologies, including artificial intelligence, to detect trends and patterns of suspicious activity and to shape and strengthen our oversight and enforcement. As appropriate and feasible, we share data analytics and technical assistance with HHS officials to strengthen program integrity, effectiveness, and management practices. Further, we are coordinating our work with key oversight and law enforcement partners, including the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC); Federal, State, local, and Tribal entities; and the Government Accountability Office, among others, to ensure adequate oversight, avoid duplication, and share insights.”

The objectives of this strategic plan are:

  • Assist in and support ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, while maintaining independence
  • Fight fraud and scams that endanger HHS beneficiaries and the public
  • Assess the impacts of HHS programs on the health and safety of beneficiaries and the public
  • Prevent, detect, and remedy waste or misspending of COVID-19 response and recovery funds
  • Fight fraud and abuse that diverts COVID-19 funding from intended purposes or exploits emergency flexibilities granted to health and human services providers
  • Protect the security and integrity of IT systems and health technology
  • Support the effectiveness of Federal, State, and local COVID-19 response and recovery efforts
  • Leverage successful practices and lessons learned to strengthen HHS programs for the future