Medicare: Recent CMS Reforms Address Carrier Scrutiny of Physicians' Claims for Payment

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In 1990, GAO designated the Medicare program to be at high-risk for waste, fraud, and abuse. More than a decade later, Medicare remains on GAO's high-risk list. This report examines Medicare's claims review process, which is designed to detect improper billing or payments. GAO found that most physicians who bill Medicare are largely unaffected by carriers' medical reviews, with 90 percent of physician claims going unreviewed in fiscal year 2001. At the three carriers GAO studied, implementation of the progressive corrective action initiative has reduced medical ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. May 28, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In 1990, GAO designated the Medicare program to be at high-risk for waste, fraud, and abuse. More than a decade later, Medicare remains on GAO's high-risk list. This report examines Medicare's claims review process, which is designed to detect improper billing or payments. GAO found that most physicians who bill Medicare are largely unaffected by carriers' medical reviews, with 90 percent of physician claims going unreviewed in fiscal year 2001. At the three carriers GAO studied, implementation of the progressive corrective action initiative has reduced medical reviews of claims and has increased carrier education to individual physicians. The carriers in the study generally made appropriate payment determinations in examining physician claims selected for a medical review. By targeting claims that are more likely to have errors, carriers could improve the efficiency of their own operations and reduce administrative demands on the small proportion of physician practices with claims selected for review. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is refocusing its oversight of carrier performance in processing and reviewing claims. The agency intends to hold carriers accountable for the overall level of payment errors in all the claims they process, not just the ones they review. Consistent with this approach, CMS is developing a program in which an independent contractor determines the accuracy of claims processed and paid by each carrier using quantitative performance measures."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 28, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Medicare: Recent CMS Reforms Address Carrier Scrutiny of Physicians' Claims for Payment, report, May 28, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293768/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.