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Department of Transportation OIG

FTA Does Not Effectively Assess Security Controls or Remediate Cybersecurity Weaknesses To Ensure the Proper Safeguards Are in Place To Protect Its Financial Management Systems

What We Looked At The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 set up appropriations to support executive agency operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has received nearly $70 billion in CARES Act and other COVID-19 relief appropriations. FTA uses several financial management systems to approve, process, and disperse this funding for the transit industry’s COVID-19 response and recovery. Given the size of this investment, we initiated this audit. Our audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of FTA’s financial...

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

States’ Backlogs of Standard Surveys of Nursing Homes Grew Substantially During the COVID-19 Pandemic

States’ backlogs of standard nursing home surveys have grown substantially, even after August 2020 when CMS lifted its suspension of those surveys (which it had suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Nationally, 71 percent of nursing homes had gone at least 16 months without a standard survey as of May 31, 2021. The rising backlogs add urgency to our existing recommendation that CMS clarify expectations and provide guidance to States on completing these important surveys.

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

COVID-19 Had a Devastating Impact on Medicare Beneficiaries in Nursing Homes During 2020

Determine how many Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes were affected by COVID-19 in 2020. Understand beneficiaries' characteristics that are associated with greater risk of contracting the virus.

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

Use of States' Immunization Information Systems To Monitor COVID-19 Vaccinations

Immunization Information Systems (IISs) play an integral role in monitoring vaccine uptake in the population and meeting vaccination goals. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other stakeholders have long invested significant efforts to establish plans and standards to guide improvements in IISs, State, and local jurisdictions have often struggled to make these improvements. CDC's work to collect and share data on COVID-19 vaccinations relies heavily on State and local IISs working with Federal systems, but the preexisting limitations of these systems pose challenges for CDC's goal of comprehensive immunization data being made available for clinical and public health uses. This study will examine State and Federal experiences using these systems to collect, share, and monitor data on COVID-19 vaccinations, and identify lessons learned that can improve vaccination data and monitoring for future mass vaccination campaigns as well as routine vaccination programs.

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

Audit of Health Resources and Services Administration's COVID-19 Supplemental Grant Funding for Health Centers

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $2 billion in supplemental grant funding to 1,387 health centers nationwide in fiscal year (FY) 2020 to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funding was intended to support the health centers' activities related to the detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, including maintaining or increasing health center capacity and staffing levels during the pandemic, and expanding COVID-19 testing. The performance period for each of these one-time supplemental grant awards, which HRSA began awarding in March 2020, is 12 months. Health centers were permitted to charge to their awards pre-award costs in order to support expenses related to the COVID-19 public health emergency dating back to January 20, 2020. We will determine whether health centers used their HRSA COVID-19 supplemental grant funding in accordance with Federal requirements and grant terms.

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

Audit of Indian Health Service's COVID-19 Vaccine Policies and Procedures for COVID-19 Vaccines Distributed to Tribal Health Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations nationwide.  We will focus on IHS's coordination of the distribution, allocation, and administration of the vaccine to Tribal Health Programs. The objective of this audit is to determine whether IHS followed the Memorandum of Agreement for the CDC COVID-19 Federal Agency Vaccination Program and the IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine Plan to coordinate the distribution, allocation, and administration of the vaccines to Tribal Health Programs to protect AI/AN beneficiaries. 

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

Yearend Review of Opioid Use in Medicare Part D in 2020

Identifying patients who are at-risk of overdose or abuse is key to addressing this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this need even more pressing. The National Institutes of Health recently warned that individuals with opioiduse disorder could be particularly hard hit by COVID-19, which is a respiratory virus that attacks the lungs. Respiratory disease is known to increase mortality risks among people taking opioids. This data brief would provide information on opioid utilization among beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part D in 2020. 

Department of Transportation OIG

Audit of FAA's Award and Oversight of CARES Act Funds

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act designated $10 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support continuing operations at U.S. airports following the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. By the end of fiscal year 2020, FAA had obligated approximately $9.4 billion in formula grants to airports for such purposes as capital expenditures, operating expenses (including payroll and utilities), and debt payments. We are initiating this audit because the act also provided $5 million to OIG for conducting oversight of DOT projects and activities supported by CARES Act funds. Our objective is to assess whether FAA’s policies and procedures for awarding and overseeing CARES Act grants are sufficient to protect taxpayer interests.