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OIG Final Rule Expands OIG Enforcement Authority to Grant and Contract Fraud

James A. Cannatti, III, Tony Maida, and Niya Mack, for McDermott Will & Emery:

On June 27, 2023, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a final rule amending OIG’s civil money penalty (CMP) regulations implementing the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) amendment to the CMP Law (CMPL), which, among other things, authorizes HHS to impose CMPs, assessments and exclusions upon individuals and entities that engage in fraud and other misconduct related to HHS grants, contracts and other agreements (42 USC 1320a-7a(o)-(s)). OIG’s final rule also addresses the Cures Act amendment to the Public Health Services Act (42 USC 300jj-52) authorizing OIG to investigate claims of information blocking and providing the Secretary of HHS authority to impose CMPs for information blocking, as well as Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 increases to penalty amounts in the CMPL. We will be issuing a separate Special Report on the information blocking portion of OIG’s final rule.