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On July 11, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced settlements with the University of Utah Health System and a Kentucky long-term care organization for employing excluded individuals. The University of Utah Health System agreed to pay $197,839.94 for employing three individuals, one of whom was a nurse.  Bradford Heights Health & Rehab Center, a Kentucky not-for-profit faith-based long-term-care organization agreed to pay $30,121.82 for employing an excluded nurse.  The OIG's announcements are available at False and Fraudulent Claims | Fraud | Office of Inspector General | U.S. Department of Health and Human Services .

These settlements serve as reminders of the obligation of health care providers to regularly (e.g., monthly) screen current and potential employees and contractors for exclusion and to document the screenings. Health care providers that employ or contract with excluded individuals or entities are potentially subject to civil monetary penalties (CMPs) and to nonpayment for services furnished by or at the medical direction of an excluded person.

The OIG recommends the use of its List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE). The LEIE and  instructions are accessible via the OIG’s website at http://oig.hhs.gov/exclusions .   Health care providers may find it helpful to contract with an outside service to perform the screenings, but should keep in mind that the provider is ultimately responsible for employing or contracting with an excluded person.

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