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CMS Releases FY2012 RAC Report

CMS recently released the results of its Medicare Fee-for-Service Recovery Audit Program (RAC) for fiscal year 2012. Once again, improper payment numbers have increased from the year before. For the period from October 2011 – December 2011 the audit program collected $397.8 million in overpayments and returned $24.9 million in underpayments. This is a total of $422.7 million in corrections identified by the audit program, with the vast majority of those improper payments coming from Medicare overpayment to providers. The RAC program has collected $1.27 billion in overpayments since 2010, and has returned $187.7 million during that same timeframe. Not surprisingly, RACs have found far more overpayments to providers than they have found underpayments.

A related CMS Quarterly Newsletter indicates that Regions C and D RACs, Connolly and HealthData Insights (HDI) collected the most in overpayments, while Regions A and B RACs, Diversified Collection Services (DCS) and CGI Federal, collected the least.

The report also identified the top recovery issue by region. All issues were medical necessity issues. The top overpayment issues were:

  • Region A: Neurological Disorders- Medicare pays for inpatient hospital services that are medically necessary for the setting billed. Medical documentation for patients with neurological disorders needs to be complete and support all services provided in the setting billed.
  • Region B: Cardiovascular Procedures- Medicare pays for inpatient hospital services that are medically necessary for the setting billed. Medical documentation for patients undergoing cardiovascular procedures needs to be complete and support all services provided in the setting billed.
  • Region C: Neurological Disorders- Medicare pays for inpatient hospital services that are medically necessary for the setting billed. Medical documentation for patients with neurological disorders needs to be complete and support all services provided in the setting billed.
  • Region D: Minor Surgery and Other Treatment Billed as an Inpatient Stay- When beneficiaries with known diagnoses enter a hospital for a specific minor surgical procedure or other treatment that is expected to keep them in the hospital for less than 24 hours, they are considered outpatient for coverage purposes regardless of the hour they presented to the hospital, whether a bed was used, and whether they remained in the hospital after midnight.

The yearly report can be found here, while a report on the individual RAC contractors by region can be found here.

If you need assistance defending against RAC audits or implementing a compliance program that will help identify and correct potential risk areas related to RAC audits, please contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.