I spent about 25 years in federal law enforcement, and most of that time was as a Senior Special Agent at HHS-OIG. I loved working there, and I loved doing healthcare fraud investigations. When I was exploring retirement, and what I was interested in doing in the next phase of life, I found that most of those that I knew at the OIG made one of a couple of choices: a life of leisure or a life of working at an SIU as an investigator. I do not think that either of those paths are bad decisions. After working countless hours as an agent, reducing one’s effective rate to, at times, minimum wage, having a life of leisure is not a bad idea.
Conversely, going to work at an SIU, continuing to investigate fraud, waste, and abuse in healthcare keeps your brain active. I, however, felt that all my experience in criminal, civil and administrative investigations of FWA could be used in a greater way. As I transitioned into consulting and began applying my skillset in the world of consulting, I also immediately saw that a void exists; consulting firms in the FWA space have, few, if any, retired OIG agents that can navigate, understand, and think in ways that only having done the job can allow.
It got me motivated to begin speaking to, and recruiting other recently, and soon to be recent, retired OIG agents to come to Advize. That parlayed into Advize recruiting and bringing on board some of the best in the industry from the payor side. I have recruiting and hiring discussions on a nearly daily basis with Charlie Meyer, Advize’s SIU Director, and, of course, Jeanmarie Loria, our CEO.
The Advize differentiator has without a doubt been our ability to bring in extremely seasoned retired OIG agents, some of which worked in supervisory capacities (such as Wade McFaul, who supervised agents in one of the busiest areas of fraud, Los Angeles), to our Medicare subject matter expert (SME) Laurie McMillan, who is by far one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. Of course we had to round out our SIU investigative team by stealing Joe Croce from a large payor. Joe has an amazing background that crosses law enforcement and SIU investigations. I did not think that there was anyone who loved FWA work more than me, until I met Joe.
For me, it has always been about having great people around you in the work you perform. My former mentor, and the person that I truly credit with much of my successes as an OIG agent (and continues to be one of the dearest people in my life), would have more “isms” than I could ever remember. One that always resonated with me that it was less important to know everything, but to have a good “rolodex” of people, so you can learn about everything. I took that with me through my career, and I brought that with me to Advize. For me, it is not about brining “rockstars” to Advize but brining the best in FWA that we can recruit and bring to serve those that work with Advize. When I worked as an agent, I never really cared what other people were doing in their day, so long as it did not affect mine; here, however, everything that we do has an affect on the other.
By Eric Rubenstein