On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) issued a statement that outlined the agency’s approach to its oversight and enforcement responsibilities during the coronavirus public health emergency. The agency will offer the health care community flexibility to provide needed care during the emergency, including by modifying OIG deadlines on a case-by-case basis. It also will carefully consider the context and intent of parties when assessing whether to proceed with any enforcement actions.
Simultaneously, OIG will aggressively investigate bad actors who are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, OIG is pursuing those who prey on people’s fears with fraudulent schemes to steal patients’ personal information, sell fake tests, and promote unapproved therapies.