WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 12, 2020)—The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has a COVID-19 Portal covering various COVID-19 topics. Among them is a set of FAQs that is updated periodically.

There are no home health or hospice or home medical equipment specific FAQs currently posted; however, there are FAQs on topics that may be of interest to home health and hospice or HME providers, such as those pertaining to the provision of free or discounted services.

Moreover, the OIG encourages providers to submit questions specific to a provider’s situation regarding the application of OIG’s administrative enforcement authorities, including the federal anti-kickback statute and civil monetary penalty (CMP) provision prohibiting inducements to beneficiaries (Beneficiary Inducements CMP).

The OIG will review it and respond directly to the provider. If you have a question regarding how OIG would view an arrangement that is directly connected to the public health emergency and implicates these authorities, please submit your question to oigcompliancesuggestions@oig.hhs.gov. In your submission, please provide sufficient facts to allow for an understanding of the key parties and terms of the arrangement at issue. The OIG will update the FAQ site as we respond to additional frequently asked questions.

The OIG’s advisory opinion process remains available to interested parties. An OIG advisory opinion is a legal opinion issued by OIG to one or more requesting parties about the application of the OIG’s fraud and abuse authorities to the party’s existing or proposed business arrangement.

An OIG advisory opinion is legally binding on HHS and the requesting party or parties.

For more information about the advisory opinion process, including information regarding how to submit an advisory opinion and how long it takes for OIG to process an advisory opinion request, click here.

There are also toolkits for emergency response available from the OIG’s portal—community-level response and facility-level response. There are toolkits for emerging infectious disease preparedness and response as well as natural disaster preparedness and response. These include the most recent lessons learned related to funding, training, testing, vaccination programs and emergency planning.