Employing qualified individuals is paramount in the healthcare industry as well as home and community based services. In some cases though, we find individuals that appear to be great candidates but are excluded individuals and cannot perform services involving Medicaid and Medicare. Agencies must perform their due diligence and check that prospective employees aren’t excluded before sending them to work. You might think “well what’s the worst that could happen”? Employing excluded individuals can put an agency at great risk during an audit. If during an audit it is found that an excluded individual provided Medicaid or Medicare billed services, all services performed by that individual will be disallowed and the agency is then responsible to pay fines on top of the full amount of those billed services. For example, a current published report by The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) showed that OIG settled Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) cases involving False and Fraudulent Claims. In June, ePeople Healthcare, Inc, a health care staffing agency in PA, settled a case with OIG for $10K for employing an LPN who provided services and was federally excluded. There were 3 other similar cases settled in June, a hospice agency in FL settled for $429K, a Vermont Rescue Squad settled for $94K, and a hospital in CA settled for $155K. Those are very hefty price tags for not checking exclusion lists.