CMS' independent watchdog agency will see about 200 of its 1,800 staff members leave by the end of this year, according to congressional testimony from OIG Office of Investigations Deputy Inspector General Gary Cantrell that was quoted in the CPI report. Another 200 HHS OIG staff members are slated to leave by the end of 2015.
Cantrell told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on June 24 that the office did not investigate 1,200 complaints that it received last year because of short staffing. “Those are complaints that came through the door that we didn't have the resources to investigate further to determine whether it was a viable criminal case or not,” Cantrell was quoted as saying.
Now it turns out the office will have fewer people to investigate such tips. Cantrell blamed large budget cuts, including expiring funding from the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act, the end of stimulus funding, and this year's sequestration cuts.
Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, who control the purse strings, regularly rail at the Obama administration for not cracking down hard enough on Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
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