Lawmakers ask tough questions about audit activities
WASHINGTON – A group of high-ranking lawmakers yesterday asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine whether audit contractors are working efficiently.
In a letter to Gene Dodaro, comptroller general of the United States, leadership of the Senate Finance, House Energy and Commerce, and House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight asked the GAO to conduct a study "that focuses on coordination among contractor efforts and CMS efforts to oversee these contractors to ensure that they are working efficiently."
Lawmakers ask that the GAO evaluate several questions:
• What process does CMS use to determine whether the contractors' audit criteria and methodologies are valid, clear and consistent?
• How does CMS coordinate among these contractors to ensure that their interactions with providers are not duplicative? Is there any evidence of providers being subjected to multiple overlapping audits on the same topic? If so, how frequently does this occur? Is there any justification for a single provider being audited by multiple contractors at the same time?
• What are the reasons for requesting that similar information be submitted to multiple contractors? Are there steps CMS is taking to limit duplicative audits, while still ensuring contractors have the tools necessary to pursue program integrity efforts?
• Does CMS have a strategic plan to coordinate and oversee all of its audit activities and, if so, how is that plan implemented and overseen?
The Senate Finance Committee has been collecting comments from the HME industry about the audit process and is expected to issue a summary document with ideas to improve the process sometime this fall.
To read the letter: http://www.hmenews.com/upload/GAOletter.pdf