Medicare Audit Reforms Raise Hospital Hopes

By Jeff Overley (January 14, 2015, 4:09 PM EST) -- Newly announced reforms to Medicare billing audits should make overpayment inquiries more fair and further shrink a big backlog of appeals that has created headaches for hospital balance sheets, experts say.

The 20-point plan announced late last month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services focuses on so-called recovery audit contractors that have recouped billions of dollars in overpayments but have also used aggressive tactics that infuriate providers. Once enacted, the reforms will force RACs to act more quickly, limit their information demands and face discipline for clawing back money without justification.

Changes will take effect gradually as new contracts...

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