Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) Medicare

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Also In The News - Health Headlines - November 2015 #4

CMS Posts Recovery Audit Contractor Program Update, Including Reduced Documentation Request Limits – On November 6, 2015, CMS posted updates regarding the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program, including a new additional...more

AGG Helps Hospice Weather the Perfect Storm of Aggressive Medicare Payment Denials and Administrative Appeal Backlog

Medicare’s implementation of post-payment review through private contractors who are overly aggressive in denying payments, combined with a severe backlog of cases in queue for hearing before an Administrative Law Judge...more

CMS Finalizes Significant Changes to the Two Midnight Rule in the 2016 OPPS Final Rule

On October 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Calendar Year 2016 Outpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule (2016 OPPS Final Rule). In the 2016 OPPS Final Rule, CMS finalizes...more

Annual RAC Report Shows Significant Drop in Recoveries by CMS in 2014

On October 15, 2015, CMS released its annual recovery auditing report to Congress. CMS’s Recovery Auditor (RAC) program identifies and corrects improper payments through a combination of prepayment and post-payment reviews,...more

RACs recover $2.39 billion in overpayments in FY 2014

Last week, CMS released its report to Congress regarding the results of the FY 2014 Medicare Recovery Audit Program (the “Report”). Of note, the Report notes that RACs identified and corrected more than 1 million claims for...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - October 2015 #4

Quality Improvement Organization Releases Guidance on Short-Stay Reviews – As previously reported, in July 2015, CMS announced that Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) would begin conducting reviews of certain inpatient ...more

Medicare FFS RACs Identified Almost $2.4 Billion in Overpayments in FY 2014

According to CMS, the Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Recovery Auditor Program identified and corrected $2.57 billion in improper Medicare payments in FY 2014. The lion’s share of this amount — $2.39 billion — represented...more

New Restrictions: CMS Limits Scope of Review on Redeterminations and Reconsiderations for Certain Audit Appeals

On August 13, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued instructions to Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and Qualified Independent Contractors (QICs) regarding the scope of review for...more

HHS Releases Long-Awaited 340B Proposed Guidance

In August 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the long-awaited and much-anticipated proposed 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B Program) Omnibus Guidance (Proposed Guidance). The Proposed...more

Another Delay for the Two-Midnight Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced, on August 12, 2015, that it has extended the enforcement delay of the controversial two-midnight rule governing short hospital stays until the end of the year....more

Cinderella May Not Turn Into a Pumpkin After All: The Proposed Relaxation of the Two-Midnight Rule

On July 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a Proposed Rule regarding the 2016 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (“OPPS”). The Proposed Rule, in addition to proposing updates...more

CMS Releases CY 2016 Proposed Rule on OPPS and ASC Payment Systems, Including Changes to the Two Midnight Rule

On July 1, 2015, CMS released a Proposed Rule that would revise the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Payment System payment rates for calendar year (CY) 2016, and would...more

CMS Proposal Broadens Medicare Inpatient Reimbursement Eligibility Under the “2-Midnight Rule"

On July 1, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed updates to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System for Calendar Year...more

MedPAC Report to Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its June 2015 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. The report includes a series of recommendations on Medicare hospital...more

MedPAC Releases June 2015 Report to the Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its “Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System” on June 15, 2015. As previously reported, the report makes recommendations for policy...more

Senate Committee Passes Bill Addressing Medicare Appeals Inefficiencies

On June 3, 2015, the Senate Finance Committee passed an original bill that aims to streamline and improve the Medicare Audit and Appeals Process. The Medicare appeals process has recently faced scrutiny from industry leaders...more

MACRA: three compliance implications for Medicare providers

Much has been written about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and its repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate formula for physician compensation and the potential gainsharing safe harbor. But the...more

Senate Aging Committee Hearing on Hospital Observation Stay Policies

On May 20, 2015, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing entitled “Challenging the Status Quo: Solutions to the Hospital Observation Stay Crisis.” Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Claire...more

RAC Reform Legislation Reintroduced in House

On April 30, 2015, Representatives Sam Graves (R-MO) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) reintroduced H.R. 2156, the Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2015. H.R. 2156 contains a number of significant new provisions from legislation of...more

Medicare RAC Program Improvements Delayed Until 2016 - Shorts on Long Term Care February 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had planned to award new contracts to companies that act as Medicare’s recovery audit contractors (now referred to as recovery auditors) (RAs) for operation of the Medicare...more

CMS Announces DMEPOS/Home Health/Hospice RAC, Improvements to RAC Process

CMS has announced that it has awarded the Region 5 Recovery Audit contract to Connolly, LLC (although the General Accounting Office subsequently reported that a bid protest has been filed regarding this award). The purpose of...more

New Limitations on RAC Program

In March 2014, CMS temporarily suspended the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program until it secured new contracts. The contracts for the program expired in June 2014, and in August, CMS said that it would restart the...more

Proposed Federal Legislation Will Provide Relief to Hospitals and Medicare Patients in Need of Post-Acute Care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced that the new RAC contracts in North Carolina should be ready by the end of the year. This means that, next year, RAC audits on hospitals and other providers will...more

Critical Access Hospital Soothsayers and the 96-Hour Physician Certification Requirement

This year critical access hospitals (CAH) have struggled to implement procedures to comply with both the "two-midnight" rule and the 96-hour physician certification requirement. The combination of both puts physicians in a...more

CMS Issues 2013 RAC Report to Congress

On September 29, 2014, CMS released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) report. According to the report, RACs collected $3.65 billion in Medicare overpayments during FY 2013. In addition, the report...more

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