The inspector general's tenure will end next month, then his longtime deputy will take the reins.
After serving 15 years as Health and Human Services Inspector General, Daniel R. Levinson resigned Tuesday.
The HHS Office of Inspector General confirmed Levinson's resignation, saying his departure will be effective May 31. Principal Deputy Inspector General Joanne Chiedl, who has worked alongside Levinson for nine years, will step in as acting inspector general on June 1, according to an HHS OIG spokesperson.
In his resignation letter addressed to the president, Levinson did not give a reason for his departure.
"Serving the Nation as the HHS IG for the past decade and a half has been a great privilege and a high honor," he wrote. "I am grateful for the support of your Administration in continuing to help provide the resources necessary for this office to fulfill its important work to protect HHS programs from fraud and abuse, and to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in program operations."
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, HHS Secretary Alex Azar praised Levinson as "a valued friend and colleague since our time together beginning at HHS in the 2000s."
"Under Dan’s leadership, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has done tireless, invaluable work to protect program beneficiaries and taxpayer funds, improve the management and integrity of HHS programs, and respond to emerging challenges such as the ongoing opioid crisis," Azar said. "In 2018, it was an honor to see OIG participate in another record-breaking Healthcare Fraud Takedown Day, charging defendants with schemes involving more than $2 billion in false billings.
"Dan should be proud of the results of his work as Inspector General, as should every member of OIG," Azar added.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
—Steven Porter is an associate content manager and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.
Photo credit: The homepage of the official website for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. (Editorial credit: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com)