CMS PROPOSES NEW SAFEGUARDS AND INCENTIVES TO REDUCE MEDICARE FRAUD
On April 24, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would increase incentives for people to report information that leads to a recovery of funds from individuals and entities that have or are engaged in Medicare fraud and abuse. This proposed rule would also improve CMS’ ability to detect new fraud schemes, and help ensure that fraudulent entities and individuals do not enroll in or stay enrolled in Medicare.
This fact sheet summarizes CMS’s proposed changes for the Medicare Incentive Reward Program as well as new provider enrollment provisions outlined in the proposed rule.
SUMMARY OF THE INCENTIVE REWARD PROGRAM PROPOSALS
CMS is proposing to increase the potential reward amount for information that leads to a recovery of Medicare funds from 10 percent to 15 percent of the final amount collected. The current program caps the reward at $1,000, meaning CMS pays a reward on the first $10,000 it collects as a result of a tip. CMS is also proposing to increase the portion of the recovery on which CMS will pay a reward up to the first $66 million recovered – this means an individual could receive a reward of $9.9 million if CMS recovers $66 million or more.
In 1998, CMS began paying rewards to individuals who reported tips that led to the recovery of funds. To date, CMS has recovered approximately $3.5 million as a result of this program and paid just $16,000 for 18 rewards. The proposed changes are similar to the IRS whistleblower program that has resulted in recoveries of over $2 billion since 2003.
SUMMARY OF THE PROVIDER ENROLLMENT PROVISIONS
Provider enrollment is the gateway to Medicare. CMS routinely evaluates its provider enrollment policies, and has implemented new safeguards as a result of the Affordable Care Act. In the February 2011 final screening rule (72 FR 5862). CMS identified additional changes in enrollment policy that would increase the integrity of the Medicare program. Now, CMS is proposing include the following provisions:
The proposed rule can be downloaded at: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.
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