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Seven Things To Know When You Receive A Notice Of Investigation From The Department Of Health

Letter from the OIG Terminating You from the Medicare Program? What You Need to Do!

Have you received a letter from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposing to terminate you or exclude you from the Medicare Program? This is an extremely serious matter. You need to take action right away! For a physician or other health professional, this may be the most serious situation you have ever faced. Yes, even more serious than that jail sentence you just finished serving.

Do not let the time period to appeal or challenge this expire without filing an appeal with the appropriate official. Hire an experienced health law attorney to assist you with this right away. Make sure it gets done on time.

The Proposed Exclusion and Period of Exclusion May Not Be Appropriate in Your Case.

We often see letters from the OIG advising that the recipient healthcare professional is subject to a mandatory exclusion for a minimum of 20 years. This may not be accurate or correct.

Often, a much shorter mandatory exclusion period of time is all that the law requires. By presenting the appropriate evidence at an appeal hearing, you can have the exclusion period reduced to a much shorter length of time.

Sometimes the OIG has initiated a mandatory exclusion when only a permissive exclusion (for a much shorter period of time than a mandatory exclusion) is authorized.

We have seen cases where a conviction of a criminal offense is not even one for which a Medicare exclusion is authorized at all. For example, a criminal action not involving theft, fraud, or false claims and involving some technical violation of federal or state law, such as an immigration violation.

The only way to obtain relief when an inappropriate exclusion action is initiated by the OIG is to file a timely appeal and to have an appeal hearing before an administrative law judge. However, the appeal must be timely. It must be received by the appropriate official and agency by the deadline stated in the OIG’s letter. Not “mailed by,” not “filed by,” but “received by.”

Consequences of Medicare Termination or Exclusion from the Medicare Program Are Severe.

If you are terminated or excluded from the Medicare Program, you are automatically excluded from any state Medicaid Program. In many states, either of these are now grounds for revocation or non-renewal of a medical, nursing, dental, pharmacist, or psychotherapist license.

You will no longer be authorized to bill Medicare or Medicaid, nor to order or prescribe a care or treatment paid for by Medicare or Medicaid. This means you will not be able to prescribe medications, order x-rays or lab tests, or even order specialty consultations paid for by Medicare or Medicaid.

However, you will also be barred from any federal employment, contracting or subcontracting. You will be placed on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Debarred List in the System for Award Management (SAM). This was previously called the “Debarred List” and was previously maintained by the General Services Administration.

SAM contains the electronic roster of debarred companies and individuals excluded from Federal procurement and non-procurement programs throughout the U.S. Government. It also contains those disbarred from receiving Federal contracts or certain subcontracts and from certain types of Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits. The SAM system combines data from the Central Contractor Registration, Federal Register, Online Representations and Certification Applications, and the Excluded Parties List System.

You will be prohibited from working for or contracting with any company, organization, or individual that receives any federal government funds from any source. You will be prohibited from being a shareholder, officer, employee, contractor, or subcontractor of any company, organization or individual who receives any government funds from any source. This will prohibit you from almost any work for any health-related jobs, any insurance companies, any schools or colleges, any real estate agencies or brokers who are involved in any federally backed mortgages (VA or FHA). It also prohibits you from joining the military or public health service, and many, many other jobs.

Credentialing and certification organizations will revoke your credentials. Health insurance companies will terminate you from their provider panels.

Military service, forget it.

Work for the VA, forget it.

Contact an Experienced Health Lawyer to Help Eliminate or at Least Limit the Damage.

You need to immediately contact and retain an experienced health lawyer to fight this on the front end. You must try to reduce or prevent a lengthy exclusion period from being imposed from the very start. It will be too late to attempt to do this later.

You may have valid defenses to the exclusion, but only an experienced health lawyer is going to be able to assist you in finding these and effectively raising these in your defense. Don’t wait until it is too late!

Call The Health Law Firm! We are available to help you on these issues anywhere in the U.S.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Defending Against Action to Exclude an Individual or Business from the Medicare Program and Assisting in Reinstatement Applications.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm have experience in dealing with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and defending against action to exclude an individual or business entity from the Medicare Program, in administrative hearings on this type of action, in submitting applications requesting reinstatement to the Medicare Program after exclusion, and removal from the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE).

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or toll-free at (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.

Current Open Positions with The Health Law Firm. The Health Law Firm always seeks qualified individuals interested in health law. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. If you are a current member of The Florida Bar or a qualified professional who is interested, please forward a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] or fax them to (407) 331-3030.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.

Copyright © 2024, George F. Indest III, The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form in any medium without the express written permission of the copyright holder. The copyright holder reserves the exclusive right to have his name associated with this work.


By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M.

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M.

Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

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