New Home Health Issues Added to CMS-Approved Issues List for RAC Region B
Recently, CGI Federal, the RAC for Region B, added two new home health issues to its CMS-approved issues list. In the past, RACs have primarily focused their attention on hospitals due to the high bounty they receive for correcting improper claims. However, as displayed in the 2011 RAC statement of work, CMS has directed RACs to begin pursuing other provider types beyond hospitals. The newly approved home health issues for Region B include:
- No skilled service: To qualify for the home health benefit, a patient must need a skilled service. When a skilled service is needed, dependent services may also be covered. Dependent services are not covered for a patient who no longer needs a skilled service. Claims with no skilled service billed will be reviewed to determine whether the qualifying criteria of having an ongoing skilled service has been met.
- Skilled nurse length of stay: Late episodes (third and later) receive increased payments, therefore payment incentives exist for extended home health care. Medicare covers skilled nursing services when they are reasonable and necessary. Extended nursing care for observation and assessment may not be covered. Claims for nursing services into the third episode and after will be reviewed to determine if all Medicare coverage criteria is met.
In addition to the new home health issues, CGI Federal also added two new issues targeting physicians in Region B, which include:
- Incorrect Billing of Diagnosis Codes for Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy: This is an automated review to ensure correct reporting of diagnosis codes for colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy services.
- Professional Trastuzumab Off-Label Uses: The purpose for this automated edit is to identify claims for Traztuzumab (Herceptin®) being used for off-label indications
If you need assistance in preparing for, or defending against RAC audits, or implementing a compliance program geared toward identifying and correcting potential risk areas related to RAC audits, please contact an experienced health care attorney at Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.