The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), effective December 9, 2022, in an effort “to enhance and maximize the enforcement of the federal laws administered and enforced by the two agencies.”
Although the MOU does not create a contractual relationship between DOJ and HHS and is not legally binding or enforceable, it is intended to formalize a process to strengthen collaboration and facilitate enforcement.
According to the MOU, the agencies will seek ways to improve upon existing efforts to (i) share information regarding existing investigations and enforcement efforts, (ii) engage in training programs to train employees regarding the laws enforced by these agencies, and (iii) otherwise look for ways to coordinate their enforcement programs. Each agency is expected to appoint liaisons who will meet regularly to facilitate and further the intent of the MOU.
This new agreement does not alter the existing legal obligations of these agencies relating to the sharing of information or the protection of confidential information. However, the agreement does create a pathway for a greater number of referrals between the agencies and increased enforcement activity.