HHS Issues Strategic Plan for 2014-2018: What Healthcare Organizations Need to Know

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently released its Strategic Plan Draft for fiscal years 2014-2018.  The strategic plan provides insight into the issues HHS deems a top priority.  In particular, one of the plans main objectives is reducing improper payments, fighting fraud, and risk management.  Currently, the draft plan addresses the following strategies to reach these objectives:
  • Early detection and prevention of bad actors from enrolling in Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Additional focus on screening requirements for both providers and suppliers in high-risk areas.
  • Strengthen the oversight of Medicaid by working with states.
  • Increased oversight of Medicare Part C and Part D by conducting audits.
  • Improving contractor accountability.
  • Supporting ongoing initiatives that address improper payments.
  • Coordinate with the Office of Inspector General, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to pursue the prosecution and punishment of fraudulent activity including focusing on prevention, early detection, and data sharing.
HHS continues to focus on fraud and abuse in healthcare and this strategic plan highlights areas in which the government believes further enforcement can occur.  HHS has instituted several programs to combat fraud throughout the past four (4) years and these initiatives are likely to continue.  For example, HHS recently implemented a Senior Medicare Patrol program in which volunteers are trained to report healthcare fraud, waste, and abuse.  In addition, the Department of Justice, through the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team has recovered more than $4.6 billion since 2007.

Every four (4) years HHS updates its strategic plan and solicits public comments regarding the contents of the plan.  This draft provides for a comment period which closes on October 15th, 2013.  

If you or your organization has any questions regarding this strategic plan, or would like to comment, please feel free to contact Robert A. Wade at (574) 485-2002 or Alex T. Krouse at (574) 485-2003.