This post was written by Nancy Sheliga.

The OIG recently estimated that Medicare could have saved approximately $8.9 million if organ procurement organizations (OPOs) had correctly reported procurement of double lungs as two organs in their FY 2011 Medicare cost reports.  The report cited reliance on CMS’s Provider Reimbursement Manual, which does not provide specific instructions on reporting double lungs, as the reason that both independent and hospital-based OPOs incorrectly reported lung statistics.  In some cases, incorrect guidance in this regard was also given by Medicare contractors.  To resolve this problem, the OIG recommended that CMS:  (1) clarify instructions on how OPOs should report lung statistics in Medicare cost reports, and (2) work with the Medicare contractors to educate OPOs on this topic. CMS agreed with the OIG’s recommendations and described plans to address the issue, including reviewing manual and cost reporting instructions, evaluating the need for future rulemaking, and better educating Medicare contractors in this regard.