Sen. Grassley demands Medicare audit

Thursday, December 17, 2009

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wants to know why, for the second year in a row, the Department of Health and Human Services has failed to deliver an annual assessment of the level of improper payments for Medicare.

In a letter to Acting Administration Charlene Frizzera this week, Grassley pointed out that DHHS hasn’t released Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) reports for fiscal years 2008 or 2009. CMS established the CERT program in 2003 to monitor the accuracy of Medicare fee-for–service payments and report improper payment rates to Congress on an annual basis

Reportedly, the reports haven’t been released due to controversy over the methodology used to calculate the improper payment rates.

“Without this kind of assessment, administrators and policymakers aren’t galvanized, as they ought to be, to do everything possible to better safeguard program dollars for beneficiaries and taxpayers,” Grassley stated in a release. “This is especially problematic in light of the impending insolvency of Medicare. Whatever the reason for the agency’s inability o provide the data, the result is ineffective management of scarce Medicare dollars.”

To read Grassley’s letter, go here: