Modern Health Care
Looking at the seven private companies processing Medicare payments whose work was examined by the auditors, the OIG’s office found that 97% of the overpayments that were eventually classified as CNC had not been recovered within a year’s time.
And 2010 was a relatively good year for collecting debt. In 2007, CMS recorded $646 million in CNC debt, in 2008 $919 million, and in 2009 $897 million.
The private Medicare contractors that process CMS’ bills said that while they issue formal demand letters for debt, the CMS often provides incorrect addresses or names on file. The contractors said many of the letters are returned to sender because the provider has gone out of business. Many hospitals also reject the letters because they want them sent to health system headquarters instead.
The auditors recommended that CMS make sure to provide correct addresses, and also tie the providers’ information to a unique tax identification number. That would allow the government to deduct past payments for illegitimate claims against new claims. That is how the CMS collects most of its over payments. Read more: