Tag Archives: Fraud and Abuse

HHS Posts Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda Listing Rules in Pipeline

The Obama Administration has released its latest regulatory agenda, which lists major pending or planned regulatory actions and the anticipated timing of rulemaking activity. The agenda includes numerous pending HHS proposed and final rules affecting a wide range of policy areas, including Medicare payment rules, fraud and abuse authorities, the 340B drug pricing program, and … Continue Reading

CMS/OIG Finalize Fraud Authority Waivers for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have finalized a rule designed to “remove legal and regulatory barriers that can impede care coordination in furtherance of the Shared Savings Program” and “reduce burden on ACOs, ACO participants, and ACO providers/suppliers.”  Specifically, the rule allows ACOs, ACO participants, … Continue Reading

CMS Sends Long-Awaited Medicare 60-Day Overpayment Rule to OMB for Final Clearance

CMS is moving ahead on its much-anticipated final rule implementing Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements on reporting and returning of Medicare overpayments.   Under the ACA, enrolled providers and suppliers (and certain other enrollees) receiving Medicare funds must report and return Medicare overpayments by the later of 60 days after the date on which the overpayment was … Continue Reading

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 overpayments collected, compared to $173.1 million in underpayments repaid to providers. Considering all program costs (other than expenses incurred at the third … Continue Reading

Yates Memo Promises to be a Game-Changer for Health Care Executives

The Department of Justice’s “Yates Memo” sets forth regulatory principles, applicable to both civil and criminal investigations, to ensure that individuals are held accountable for corporate wrongdoing. While several U.S. Attorney Offices had been applying many of these principles already, the Yates Memo now establishes the principles expected to be followed by all U.S. Attorney Offices and … Continue Reading

OIG Identifies Potentially Improper Medicare Ambulance Payments

In response to rising Medicare Part B payments for ambulance transports and continuing concerns about program vulnerabilities, the OIG has once again reviewed Medicare claims for ambulance services. The OIG estimates that Medicare made $24 million in payments during the first half of 2012 for ambulance transports that did not meet certain Medicare program requirements … Continue Reading

OIG Flags $171 Million in Potentially Questionable Billing for Medicare Ophthalmology Services

The OIG has issued a report entitled “Questionable Billing for Medicare Ophthalmology Services.”  The OIG concludes that most Medicare providers billing for ophthalmology services in 2012 did not demonstrate what the OIG characterizes as questionable billing practices, such as a high percentage of claims for complex cataract surgery or Lucentis injections beyond maximum annual dosing … Continue Reading

House Energy & Commerce Committee Schedules Hearing to Review Medicaid Program Integrity Legislation

On September 11, 2015, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing to discuss legislative proposals intended to reduce Medicaid waste, fraud, and abuse.  Bills to be discussed include: Draft legislation to encourage territories to create Medicaid Fraud Control Units. Draft legislation addressing recent OIG findings that health care providers terminated … Continue Reading

Terminated Medicaid Providers Continue to Participate in Other State Medicaid Programs

According to the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), 12% of providers terminated for cause by a state Medicaid program in 2011 continued participating in other states’ Medicaid programs as of January 2014, despite an Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that states terminate any provider terminated for cause by another state Medicaid program.  The OIG acknowledges … Continue Reading

GAO Examines Medicare Provider Eligibility Verification Safeguards

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining the extent to which CMS’s enrollment screening procedures are designed and implemented to prevent enrollment of ineligible or potentially fraudulent Medicare providers. The GAO identified weaknesses in CMS’s verification of provider practice location and physician licensure status that have allowed potentially ineligible providers and suppliers to … Continue Reading

CMS Again Extends Moratoria on Enrollment of HHAs, Ambulance Suppliers in Designated Areas

CMS has announced another 6-month extension of its current temporary enrollment moratoria for new ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies (HHAs), subunits, and branch locations in designated metropolitan areas. The moratoria, which affect enrollment in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, apply to: New ground ambulances in the Houston and Philadelphia metropolitan … Continue Reading

CMS Fraud Prevention System Credited with $820 Million in Medicare Savings to Date

CMS has announced that its Fraud Prevention System identified or prevented $820 million in inappropriate Medicare payments during its first three years, including $454 million in 2014 alone. The Fraud Prevention System uses predictive analytics technologies to identify fraudulent claims before they are paid. CMS also intends to expand the Fraud Prevention System and its algorithms … Continue Reading

CMS Extends Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices Demonstration through August 2018

CMS has announced that it is extending its Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices (PMDs) demonstration for three years, through August 31, 2018. This demonstration was launched on September 1, 2012 in seven states that CMS describes as having “high levels of improper payments and incidents of fraud related to PMDs” – California, Illinois, Michigan, … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Announces Record Medicare Strike Force “Takedown”

On June 18, 2015, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell and Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced that a nationwide Medicare Fraud Strike Force sweep resulted in health fraud charges against 243 individuals involving approximately $712 million in false billings – the largest number of defendants and dollar amount in Strike Force history. Charges in the cases … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Tighter Medicaid Fraud Controls

A recent GAO review of Medicaid claims in four selected states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and New Jersey) discovered that thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries and hundreds of providers were involved in potentially improper or fraudulent payments during FY 2011. Such potentially improper payments involved, among other things, beneficiaries concurrently receiving benefits paid by two or more … Continue Reading

OIG Posts Spring Semiannual Report to Congress

The OIG’s latest Semiannual Report to Congress describes significant investigative and enforcement activities relating to HHS programs and operations during the first half of FY 2015 (October 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015). The OIG reports expected recoveries of more than $1.8 billion during this period, consisting of nearly $544.7 million in audit receivables and about $1.26 … Continue Reading

OIG Releases FY 2015 Work Plan Mid-Year Update

The HHS OIG has updated its FY 2015 Work Plan to reflect new and/or completed items since release of its Work Plan in October 2014. Of note, the OIG has announced its plans to conduct several new Medicare reviews addressing: intensity-modulated radiation therapy; hospital preparedness and response to high-risk infectious diseases; access to DME in competitive … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Guidance to States on Medicaid/CHIP Provider Fingerprint-Based Criminal Background Checks

On June 1, 2015, CMS provided additional guidance to state Medicaid directors on implementation of fingerprint-based criminal background checks (FCBCs) as a component of ACA Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP provider screening requirements. CMS stipulates that states have 60 days from the date of the letter to begin implementation of the FCBC requirement, and implementation must be … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

A number of Congressional panels have held hearings this month on health policy issues, including the following: A House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Affordable Care Act implementation and the FY 2016 HHS budget request; A Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on “Health Information Exchange: A Path Towards Improving the … Continue Reading

OIG Partners with Industry Associations by Issuing Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight

On April 20, 2015, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) released educational guidance designed to assist governing boards of health care organizations (“Boards”) in their compliance oversight functions. This guidance, entitled “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight” (the “Guidance”), was developed in … Continue Reading

OIG Releases Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report

The OIG has released its Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU) Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report, which highlights statistical achievements of the 50 MFCUs nationwide, along with related OIG oversight activities. With regard to criminal cases, the report notes: MFCUs reported 1,318 criminal convictions, most frequently involving home health care aides, certified nursing aides, and other medical support; … Continue Reading

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program Reports $3.3 Billion in Recoveries

According to the FY 2014 HCFAC program report, more than $3.3 billion was recovered in FY 2014 as a result of the government’s health care fraud judgments and settlements, including $2.3 billion won or negotiated by the federal government in FY 2014. Since the HCFAC program began in 1997, it has returned more than $27.8 … Continue Reading