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News and updates on the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) activities.

Inspector General Annual Report details progress on provider, recipient fraud

The DHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) 2014 Annual Report (PDF) reviews the year's accomplishments, looks at trends and provides an overview of plans to improve protections for those who depend on public programs. The report highlights DHS efforts to aggressively pursue provider and recipient fraud - more than 400 cases relating to provider fraud were opened and more than $7 million in overpayments were recovered last year. The OIG continued its work on a new background study system that requires the use of fingerprints and photographs of job applicants who work in settings where vulnerable adults and children receive services. An outline of new initiatives are also featured.

2014 Report Details Maltreatment Information

The Maltreatment Report Data for Fiscal Year 2014 (PDF) provides information about the number and type of reports of alleged maltreatment involving DHS licensed programs and facilities, the number of reports that required investigation and the resolution of the investigation.

Child care case establishes precedent regarding fraudulent billing

A southern Minnesota county, in consultation with the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), successfully excluded a childcare center from receiving public funding for one year due to fraudulent billing. The county's investigation showed that the center inflated its attendance records. On four different occasions, childcare personnel visited the center and observed fewer children than the center reported on its attendance records. Further investigation established that the center billed the state for more children than were listed on daily attendance records, and more children than were observed.

This case is important for several reasons. First, it upheld a lower standard of evidence, making it easier for counties to clamp down on intentional program violations against childcare centers that defraud the state. Now counties will only need to establish that it is more likely than not that a provider engaged in the intentional program violation.

Also, it is sufficient for a county to prove a provider's intent to commit fraud if a number of circumstances are consistent with the intent to defraud. As a result, it is not necessary for the county to introduce direct testimony or evidence of a provider's intent to commit fraud.

This case significantly benefits counties that are interested in pursuing program violations by child care providers through the administrative disqualification hearing process. The OIG legal unit is available to answer any questions or concerns related to this case. Please contact the OIG at 651-431-4328 or James.Ortmann@state.mn.us.

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