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Comparative Billing Reports Sent to Skilled Nursing Facilities

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released Comparative Billing Reports (CBRs) to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) providers. The CBRs are released to a maximum of 5,000 providers. CBRs can be an effective way to identify potential audit weaknesses and take corrective action before an audit.

SNFs that receive CBRs will see their rehabilitation plus extensive services category RUG code billings broken down by therapy level grouping and compared to regional and national averages. The CBRs are a response to increases in ultra high therapy RUG billings nationwide. Providers with higher than average ultra high therapy RUG billings are encouraged to examine their procedures and compliance plans to determine that therapy level RUG codes are billed appropriately.

The CBRs are produced by SafeGuard Services under contract with CMS and will provide comparative data to help show how these individual providers compare to other providers within the same field. These comparative studies are designed to help providers review their coding and billing practices and utilization patterns, and take proactive compliance measures. Providers should view CBRs as a tool to aid them evaluating their practices to ensure that they are properly complying with Medicare billing rules. Furthermore, providers should carefully analyze the data in CBRs to evaluate whether the CBR adequately reflects the provider’s billing practices. It is also important to understand that CBRs do not contain patient or case-specific data, but rather only summary billing information as a method of ensuring privacy.

In addition to skilled nursing facilities, provider types that have been identified to receive, or have already received, CBRs include: podiatry services, home oxygen services, evaluation and pain management services, cardiology services, advanced diagnostic imaging, electrodiagnostic studies, sleep study, hospice, ambulance services, chiropractic services, physical therapy, and durable medical equipment.

If you are a recipient of a CBR for SNF Billing Practices, or are among the other provider types that have been identified to receive CBRs, please contact an experienced healthcare attorney at Wachler & Associates at 248-544-0888 to discuss evaluating the CBR analysis and development of an appropriate compliance plan that will reduce audit risks.