The release of the 2015 work plan by the OIG gives employers a slightly clearer picture of what is to come. With last year showing over 4,000 exclusions and close to 1,000 penalties, many employers have become fearful of adhering to the parameters of restriction. However, the recovery action of this year’s plan is highly focused on rectifying best practices, and the federal fiscal gain could benefit employers who are up to code.
One of the greatest concerns appears to the increase in audits that are expected to be performed. It should be noted that while health and safety standards are high goals for this work plan, the stronger scrutiny of the auditing process is also focused on outright fraud and poor business practices.
This does not mean that solid employers should stop being vigilant regarding verification and new hire screenings. The fine print of over $4 billion in receivables can also be read as hefty fines and penalties for non-adherence to federal hiring regulations. While the OIG may be more concerned with fraud and misuse of SSA and Medicare funds, exclusion violations do contribute to this drain on the national budget.
Receiving a fine due to an oversight should not be a fear for HR managers and hiring entities, but the truth is that lack of knowledge is not passing as an acceptable fault in the eyes of the OIG. This further drives the need for time efficient and thorough screenings that can allow hiring personnel to stay focused on a best fit for qualified applicants.