Sneak Preview: CMS Seeks To Timely Resolve Audit Recommendations

Jerry Ashworth
February 8, 2019 at 07:19:17 ET
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(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Single Audit Information Service.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) grantees that have unresolved audit recommendations involving CMS funds are on notice that CMS is refining its audit resolution process to more timely resolve federal and nonfederal audit recommendations. CMS officials recently said that they doing so in response to findings in a recent HHS OIG report.

CMS is required to resolve recommendations contained in OIG audits and uniform guidance Subpart F audits of CMS grant programs within six months after issuance of the final audit report. In response to each federal and nonfederal audit report for activities performed by CMS’ grantees or for audits of CMS internal activities, the agency must issue a management decision and submit an OIG clearance document (OCD) to OIG within the required six-month period.

A 2008 OIG report found that CMS did not always resolve audit recommendations in accordance with these requirements during federal fiscal years (FY) 2006 and 2007. OIG recently sought to determine if CMS had made progress in resolving audit recommendations by evaluating audit recommendations made in FYs 2015 and 2016. OIG assessed 389 federal audit reports containing 1,190 recommendations, and 72 nonfederal audit reports containing 181 recommendations.

While OIG found that CMS resolved 1,231 of the 1,371 audit recommendations that were outstanding during FYs 2015 and 2016, it did not resolve 405 of the 1,231 recommendations (32.9 percent) within the required six-month resolution period. In addition, as of Sept. 30, 2016, CMS had not resolved the remaining 140 audit recommendations that were past due for resolution. These past-due recommendations had associated dollar amounts that totaled about $138.6 million.

In comparison, during FYs 2006 and 2007, CMS resolved 3,462 of 4,650 audit recommendations that were outstanding during that period. However, it did not resolve 2,813 of the 3,462 recommendations (81 percent) within the required six-month period. The 2008 OIG report also found that as of Sept. 30, 2007, CMS had not resolved the remaining 1,188 audit recommendations that were past due for resolution, and the dollar amount related to those recommendations totaled $1.165 billion.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time here.)

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