(a) Circumstance for exclusion. The OIG may exclude an individual or entity that has been convicted, under Federal or State law, in connection with the interference with or obstruction of any investigation or audit related to -
(2) The use of funds received, directly or indirectly, from any Federal health care program.
(b) Length of exclusion.
(1) An exclusion imposed in accordance with this section will be for a period of three years, unless aggravating or mitigating factors listed in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section form the basis for lengthening or shortening that period.
(2) Any of the following factors may be considered to be aggravating and a basis for lengthening the period of exclusion -
(i) The interference or obstruction caused the expenditure of significant additional time or resources;
(ii) The interference or obstruction had a significant adverse physical or mental impact on one or more program beneficiaries or other individuals;
(iii) The interference or obstruction also affected a civil or administrative investigation;
(iv) The sentence imposed by the court included incarceration;
(v) Whether the individual or entity has a documented history of criminal, civil or administrative wrongdoing; or
(vi) Whether the individual or entity has been convicted of other offenses besides those that formed the basis for the exclusion;
(vii) Whether the individual or entity has been the subject of any other adverse action by any Federal, State or local government agency or board if the adverse action is based on the same set of circumstances that serves as the basis for the imposition of the exclusion; or
(viii) The acts resulting in the conviction, or similar acts, caused, or reasonably could have been expected to cause, a financial loss of $50,000 or more to a government agency or program or to one or more other entities or had a significant financial impact on program beneficiaries or other individuals. (The entire amount of financial loss or intended loss identified in the investigation or audit will be considered, including any amounts resulting from similar acts not adjudicated, regardless of whether full or partial restitution has been made).
(3) Only the following factors may be considered as mitigating and a basis for reducing the period of exclusion -
(i) The record of the criminal proceedings, including sentencing documents, demonstrates that the court determined that the individual had a mental, emotional, or physical condition, before or during the commission of the offense, that reduced the individual's culpability; or
(ii) The individual's or entity's cooperation with Federal or State officials resulted in -
(A) Others being convicted or excluded from Medicare, Medicaid and all other Federal health care programs,
(B) Additional cases being investigated or reports being issued by the appropriate law enforcement agency identifying program vulnerabilities or weaknesses, or
(C) The imposition of a civil money penalty against others; or
(iii) Alternative sources of the type of health care items or services furnished by the individual or entity are not available.