§ 890.1016Aggravating and mitigating factors used to determine the length of permissive debarments.
(a)Aggravating factors. The presence of aggravating circumstances may support an OPM determination to increase the length of a debarment beyond the nominal periods set forth in §§ 890.1017 through 890.1021. The factors that OPM considers as aggravating are:
(1) Whether the provider's actions underlying the basis for the debarment, or similar acts, had an adverse impact on the physical or mental health or well-being of one or more FEHBP-covered individuals or other persons.
(2) Whether the provider has a documented history of prior criminal wrongdoing; civil violations related to health care items or services; improper conduct; or administrative violations addressed by a Federal or State agency. OPM may consider matters involving violence, patient abuse, drug abuse, or controlled substances convictions or violations to be particularly serious.
(3) Whether the provider's actions underlying the basis for the debarment, or similar acts, resulted in financial loss to the FEHBP, FEHBP-covered individuals, or other persons. In determining whether, or to what extent, a financial loss occurred, OPM shall not consider any amounts of restitution that the provider may have paid.
(4) Whether the provider's false, wrongful, or improper claims to FEHBP carriers were numerous, submitted over a prolonged period of time, or part of an on-going pattern of wrongful acts.
(5) Whether the provider was specifically aware of or directly responsible for the acts constituting the basis for the debarment.
(6) Whether the provider attempted to obstruct, hinder, or impede official inquiries into the wrongful conduct underlying the debarment.
(b)Mitigating factors. The presence of mitigating circumstances may support an OPM determination to shorten the length of a debarment below the nominal periods set forth in §§ 890.1017 through 890.1021, respectively. The factors that OPM considers as mitigating are:
(1) Whether the provider's cooperation with Federal, State, or local authorities resulted in criminal convictions, civil recoveries, or administrative actions against other violators, or served as the basis for official determinations of program weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Restitution that the provider made for funds wrongfully, improperly, or illegally received from Federal or State programs may also be considered as a mitigating factor.
(2) Whether official records of judicial proceedings or the proceedings of State licensing authorities contain a formal determination that the provider had a physical, mental, or emotional condition that reduced his level of culpability before or during the period in which he committed the violations in question.
(c)Absence of factors. The absence of aggravating or mitigating factors shall have no effect to either increase or lower the nominal period of debarment.
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