Diversity drives OIG’s fraud investigation success

The word fraud framed by other words
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General actively recruits a diverse workforce to fight fraud. Image: Getty/Devonyu

What’s the secret to successfully investigating healthcare fraud cases? A diverse staff and varied perspectives.

Derrick L. Jackson
Derrick L. Jackson

Derrick L. Jackson, special agent in charge for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, writes in an OIG post that access to a diverse group of people and opinions is key to solving fraud cases. Jackson, who is responsible for overseeing the OIG’s investigations, said having a variety of perspectives is necessary to their success.

“Bringing together different backgrounds, ideas and experiences is a recipe for success for the Office of Inspector General, for our investigations in particular. For example, when we're investigating a Russian crime ring, it's smart to have an agent from that community who can speak Russian on the case,” Jackson, an 18-year veteran of the OIG, said.

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In an effort to increase diversity, Jackson and regional coordinators visit schools and colleges to inform students about the OIG, its mission and possible opportunities within the organization.

The OIG also works closely organizations like the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Hispanic American Police Command Officers and the National Asian Peace Officers Association.

Jackson is a second-generation investigator, according to the article. His mother, Carolyn, was the first black assistant special agent in charge in Philadelphia, and her efforts, he said, were key to diversifying that office. People seeking jobs with the OIG often express a desire to serve their country through investigations that protect patients and providers.

The benefits of workplace diversity extend beyond the OIG. Increased diversity in healthcare leadership can drive improvements to patient outcomes and can help healthcare organizations connect with the communities they serve. A diverse workforce in the insurance sphere can also lead to happier health plan enrollees for similar reasons, FierceHealthcare has previously reported, as it allows staff at payers to reach their enrollees.