In addition to fighting fraud, HHS-OIG performs a myriad of other functions that are worth mentioning. In its Strategic Plan for 2025, it articulated a second, vital area in which its mission is to advance. Grouped together, they are: 1) Fostering quality, safety, and value of HHS-funded services, 2) promote public health and safety, and 3) support high-performing health and human services programs.
Fostering quality, safety, and value of HHS-funded services
HHS operates the Medicare Program which serves 60 million elderly and or disabled Americans, directs the Medicaid Program assisting 75 million beneficiaries, and operates the Children’s Health Insurance Program serving 7 million beneficiaries. Hospice care, nursing home and assisted living services, prescription drug programs, child shelters, foster care, and the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Programs, are examples of critical services for which the OIG provides oversight.
The OIG provides recommendations and training programs to improve HHS-funded programs. The OIG works with HHS partnerships and States as well as independently to foster high-quality services to beneficiaries and enhance the value of these taxpayer-funded programs.
Promote Public Health and Safety
HSS is the leading Federal department responsible for coordinating public health emergencies and providing medical support during disease outbreaks and natural disasters. OIG oversight work assists in ensuring that healthcare facilities and services are prepared to respond to such emergencies. The OIG’s surveillance of programs administered by the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensure that food supplies, drugs, and medical supplies are safe and ready in times of need. The OIG identifies gaps in emergency preparedness and response measures to better detect, prevent, and provide effective response efforts when disaster strikes. The Strategic Plan aims to regularly engage stakeholders and leadership across the HHS framework while assessing ongoing effectiveness and efficiency of preparedness efforts and response measures regarding public health and safety.
Support High-Performing Health and Human Services Programs
The OIG makes recommendations to the HHS to improve patient care and outcomes, lower costs and reduce administrative burdens on consumers and providers, while introducing innovations for better program efficiency. The OIG identifies problems, conducts audits, and evaluates substandard care while enforcing HHS standards. The Strategic Plan reaffirms the commitment of the HHS Department and OIG administration to protect vulnerable beneficiaries and ensure service program funds are being used effectively and efficiently.
The Strategic Plan includes goals which most organizations aspire to: 1) maximize value by improving efficiency and effectiveness, 2) promote secure and effective use of data and technology, and 3) encourage implementation of OIG recommendations.
Maximize Value by Improving Effectiveness and Efficiency
The OIG looks for opportunities to streamline operations in data management and processes. Technological innovations will be used to automate tasks, realize risk and value, assist in internal coordination and collaboration, and develop secure measures for data governance and dissemination to the public. By embracing innovation, the OIG plans to maximize the value of services by using tools for strategic planning, resource allocation, and risk management.
Promote Secure and Effective Use of Data and Technology
Emerging technologies and increasing integration of the Department’s programs require proper oversight of program functions. OIG intends to modernize its IT infrastructure to remain adaptable and effective in a rapidly changing technological landscape. It also noted that advanced data tools are allowing analysts to structure sizable and diverse data sets in legible format
Encourage Implementation of OIG Recommendations
The OIG plans to create and strengthen processes and systems for communicating by streamlining communication and implanting new technologies to track recommendations it makes to HHS.