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CMS to Further Extend “Probe and Educate” Reviews to September 30, 2014

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has decided to extend the Inpatient Hospital Prepayment “Probe and Educate” reviews. The probe reviews, which were previously extended to March 31, 2014, have now been extended for dates of admission through September 30, 2014. During the probe reviews, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will continue to review and deny claims found not to be in compliance with the 2-midnight rule. These reviews will continue to be conducted on a prepayment basis, and the MACs will continue to provide education to hospitals throughout the “probe and educate” review process. During the probe review process, other Medicare contractors, including Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs), will not conduct post-payment patient status reviews of inpatient hospital claims with dates of admission between October 1, 2013 and October 1, 2014.

In an effort to provide updated information and additional clarification, CMS will host a follow-up Special Open Door Forum (ODF) on February 4, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Much like the previous ODFs, interested parties will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding inpatient hospital admission, medical review criteria, physician orders and physician certification. You can participate in the ODF via conference call: Participant Dial-In Number: 877-251-0301; Conference ID: 47736519.

If you have any questions regarding the “probe and educate” reviews, physician orders and certification requirements, the 2-midnight rule, or medical review criteria, please contact an experienced health care attorney at Wachler & Associates at 248-544-0888 or wapc@wachler.com.