Sen. Carper Highlights Report Detailing Over $200 Million in Improper Medicare Payments Recovered by Enhanced Audit Program
Senator Applauds Improvement in Identification and Recovery of Fraudulent and Mistaken Payments; Urges Medicare Officials to Build on Current Success in order to Recover Potentially Billions More in Overpayments
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, highlighted a recent report detailing the $237.8 million in Medicare Fee-for-Service overpayments that were recouped by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) over a six month period from September 2010 through March 2011 through the use of the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Program.
“Our efforts to better protect taxpayer dollars by curbing fraudulent and improper Medicare payments are paying off,” said Sen. Carper. “We have already seen more than three times the amount of money recovered compared to last year, and we still have six months to go for 2011. This is important progress, but more needs to be done. Recent estimates put the total number of Medicare improper payments at a staggering $47.9 billion annually. That’s a lot of money, especially as we struggle with a massive federal deficit. Medicare officials must quickly step up their efforts to identify errors and build upon these successes in recovering funds paid out improperly. Just as important, Medicare officials need to continue to work closely with auditors to spot patterns in erroneous payments so we can take steps to prevent these improper payments from happening in the first place.”
Medicare’s Recovery Audit Contracting employs private contractors to examine payments to hospitals, physicians and other health care providers in order to identify overpayments and other payment errors. Initially the Recovery Audit Contractor program focused on the Medicare fee-for-service programs (Part A and B) but Sen. Carper worked to include a provision in the Affordable Care Act to expand the program throughout Medicare and Medicaid. In 2010, the Recovery Audit Contracting program recovered $75 million.
For more information on Recovery Audit Contractor program, please visit http://www.cms.gov/RAC/.
To view the March 2011 Recovery Audit Contractor report, please visit http://www.cms.gov/RAC/Downloads/FFSNewsletter.pdf.