Audits Medicare

News & Analysis as of

Recent OIG Audits of Home Health and Hospice Surveys May Signal Increased Scrutiny on Worker Qualifications

Recent audits by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) conclude that state survey agencies in a number of states and a leading national accrediting agency serving the home health and...more

Bipartisan Spotlight on Medicare Advantage Risk Adjustment Fraud Likely to Spur Audits

Potential fraud and abuse in the Medicare Advantage Program (“MA Program”) has become the focus of two senior-ranking Senators on each side of the aisle—Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)—and this attention...more

Senate Finance Committee Advances Medicare Audit and Appeals Bill

On June 3, 2015, the Senate Finance Committee approved by voice vote the Audit & Appeal Fairness, Integrity, and Reforms in Medicare (AFIRM) Act of 2015. Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) were...more

OIG Updates 2015 Work Plan: New medicare initiatives for hospitals, DMEPOS suppliers, clinical labs, GPOs

The OIG issued on May 28, 2015 an update to its 2015 Work Plan which includes several new Medicare initiatives for the OIG’s audit and inspection during the current fiscal year and forecasts broader areas of focus for future...more

CMS Releases Updates to Its Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Audit Protocols and Processes

On February 12, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released an updated version of its Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and prescription drug benefit (“Part D”) plan audit protocols and also announced the...more

Roadmap to Prison: Lessons Learned from the Criminal Prosecution of Alpha Ambulance’s Leaders

No one running an ambulance company ever planned to go to prison for doing his or her job. But that is a real possibility if the government knocks on the door, and the owner or manager is dishonest in his or her response to...more

OIG Responds to Hospital Compliance Review Objections

The OIG has defended its hospital compliance review policies in response to objections raised by the American Hospital Association (AHA). Specifically, a January 15, 2015 OIG letter addresses four main areas of AHA concern...more

Medicare Hospital Compliance Reviews are Legal and Sound, According to OIG

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) recently defended its practices pertaining to hospital compliance reviews in a published response to a letter from the American Hospital...more

OIG Defends Its Hospital Compliance Reviews in Response to AHA Criticism

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services(“OIG”) responded to concerns expressed by the American Hospital Association (“AHA”) regarding the OIG’s hospital compliance reviews,...more

AHA Responds to House Bill Concerning RACs and Two-Midnight Rule

In a December 18, 2014 letter to U.S. Representative Kevin Brady, the American Hospital Association (AHA) voiced its opinion on a discussion draft of the Hospital Improvements for Payment Act of 2014 (HIP). The House Ways and...more

HHS to Audit Hospital Reporting of GPO Payments: GAO Report Suggests Further Scrutiny of GPO Shareback with Hospitals

On November 24, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) published a report examining the contracting practices and funding structures of health care group purchasing organizations (“GPOs”) and their potential...more

Blog: HHS OIG Hands Out 2015 Work Plan For Halloween

On Friday October 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its annual “Work Plan” for fiscal year 2015. The Work Plan is a compilation of the OIG’s plans for...more

D.C. Circuit Declines Hospitals’ Plea for Relief from CMS Catch-22

Here’s how the catch works. A hospital admits and treats a Medicare patient who needs care. The hospital bills Medicare and gets paid. Later—usually much later—a RAC auditor rules that the patient needed only outpatient care...more

Efforts to Stop Health Insurance Fraud Through Use of Contractors Under Fire

In recent reports, from June 25, 2014 and August 13, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights the mixed results achieved by the federal government's increased efforts to crack down on health insurance fraud...more

Who Audits the Auditors?

Since the advent of Medicare in 1965, hospitals have bemoaned the cost and burden of Medicare audits. The complaints increased when CMS hired private contractors for the audits. They became deafening in 2009 with the advent...more

CMS Paying Some Providers’ Medicare EHR Incentive Payment Using Incorrect Transition Factor

We have learned that CMS has paid Medicare EHR Incentive Program Payments to some eligible hospitals using an incorrect transition factor, understating total payment. CMS personnel have informed us that they are aware of this...more

Brace Yourself: The RACs Are Back

Under the controversial program private contractors audit hospitals and other Medicare providers for fraudulent and erroneous Medicare billing. Why is it controversial? Because the auditors are paid a percentage of...more

Got A Complaint About RAC Audits? Get In Line

Criticism of the RAC (recovery audit contractor) program is becoming a national pastime. Needless to say, hospitals hated the program from the very beginning. And little wonder. The program pays private contractors a...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - June 2014 #4

CMS Holds Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Oversight and Enforcement Conference – On June 24, 2014, CMS offered an in-person program that instructed Medicare Advantage and Part D providers as to how they could...more

CMS Changes to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for Contract Year 2015

On May 19, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule, published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2014, that sets forth changes to requirements for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - May 2014

OIG Reports Jurisdiction H Contractors Made $3.3 Million in Overpayments for Outpatient Drugs – According to a recent OIG report, the Medicare Contractors for Jurisdiction H overpaid providers approximately $3.3...more

Emerging EHR Risks: When Documentation May Not Be Enough (or Too Much)

Today’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies feature many tools that help providers practice more efficiently and allow them to spend more time caring for patients. However, the federal government recently has posted...more

CMS Identifies Key Priorities for 2014 Compliance Reviews of Qualified Health Plans in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace

At a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") teleconference titled "Compliance Reviews in the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace" ("FFM"), which was held on April 10, 2014, CMS representatives discussed the agency's...more

Enforcement of the Two-Midnight Rule Delayed Again

Last week President Obama signed into law a measure to extend Medicare physician pay rates for one year and to extend the enforcement delay of the “Two-Midnight” rule through March 2015. Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors...more

CMS Releases Fiscal Year 2012 Recovery Auditing Report

In a recent report on the Recovery Audit program for fiscal year (FY) 2012, CMS reports that Recovery Auditors identified $2.4 billion dollars in improper payments, including $2.3 billion in overpayments and $109.4 million in...more

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