Grassley presses HHS on recommendations

Grassley-090507-18363- 0032From Press Release


Sen. Chuck Grassley is pressing the Department of Health and Human Services to implement recommendations that would save taxpayer money and stop problems including Medicare payments to prisoners and safety risks to children in Head Start programs.

“Agency watchdogs spend a lot of time and effort coming up with recommendations to save taxpayer money and improve the way agencies do their jobs,” Grassley said.  “When those recommendations fall by the wayside, the agencies need to explain why that’s the case.”

Grassley wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell regarding the agency inspector general’s annual compendium of its top 25 unimplemented recommendations.  The inspector general found that unimplemented recommendations over the last 14 years would have saved billions of dollars and positively impacted programs “in terms of cost savings and/or quality improvements.”

Grassley described several of the unimplemented recommendations, including policies and procedures that would detect and recoup improper Medicare payments made to incarcerated persons; ways to address the failure of 23 Head Start grantees to fully comply with federal or state requirements to protect children from unsafe materials and equipment; and recommendations to catch and collect overpayments, including the collection of $332.1 million in overpayments.

Grassley pressed the agency on plans to implement the recommendations, including a timeline, or an explanation if the agency has decided not to implement the recommendations.

Grassley’s letter is available here.