A bipartisan group of four House members has introduced legislation (HR 6575) that would limit the documentation requests that Medicare contractors can make of hospitals when investigating potential Medicare fraud, The Hill's "Floor Action Blog" reports.
The Medicare Audit Improvement Act -- introduced on Tuesday by Reps. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Billy Long (R-Mo.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) -- would create new penalties against contractors that repeatedly fail to meet recovery audit requirements and would require Medicare contractors to be more transparent about audits and results.
Graves said that although it is important to recover improperly spent Medicare funds, something needed to be done to reduce the burden of audits on hospitals.
Graves said, "Doctors and nurses should be focused on caring for patients, not trying to comply with the ever-increasing requests for documents." He added that the current audit process is especially burdensome for smaller, rural hospitals that are ill-equipped to handle the increased administrative work (Kasperowicz, "Floor Action Blog," The Hill, 10/18).