Senators introduce audit legislation
WASHINGTON – Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., recently introduced a Senate companion bill to the Medicare Audit Improvement Act, which was re-introduced in the House in March, according to news reports. The bill seeks to improve the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program, among other Medicare auditing programs. Lawmakers hope the bill can strike a balance between identifying fraud and alleviating auditing burdens on providers. “While I believe we must continue to identify and correct verifiable fraud, hospitals have been buried in the administrative burdens put on them by Medicare audit contractors,” stated Congressman Sam Graves, R-Mo., who along with Adam Schiff, D-Calif., re-introduced the bill in the House. “My bill would put in place common-sense reforms allowing auditors to still conduct adequate oversight of billing problems without an open-ended invitation from CMS to continually bombard hospitals.” The legislation also seeks to increase transparency and accuracy in audits conducted by Medicare contractors.