The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to improve the way its staff and contractor staff process complaints from its waste, fraud and abuse hotline. Long timeframes and inefficient processes have delayed starting work on many complaints. On average, more than five months passed between CMS receiving complaints from OIG and contractors beginning work on them.
Lessons Learned: It is critical for government agencies and all organizations to improve responses to tips and hotline complaints. Not only are five months of inaction un-excusable, but employees aware of this timeframe will no longer trust and will no longer report incidents to hotlines that do not deliver results. Organizations must develop secure and anonymous incident reporting procedures and ensure all incidents are communicated to the appropriate personnel immediately for a timely and documented response to achieve trust and better results.