In four new recently posted frequently asked questions (FAQs) (select Fraud and Abuse in the left column), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers new guidance regarding the CMS Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol. On September 23, 2010, CMS published the Medicare self-referral disclosure protocol ("SRDP") pursuant to Section 6409(a) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The SRDP sets forth a process to enable providers of services and suppliers to self-disclose actual or potential violations of the physician self-referral statute.
Although the SRDP provides that the financial analysis must cover the entire look-back period, the new FAQs indicate that a disclosing party will satisfy the SRDP by submitting financial analysis setting forth the total amount actually or potentially due and owing for claims improperly submitted and paid within the time frame established for reopening determinations at 42 C.F.R. s 405.980(b) (i.e. four years). However, a disclosing party must still comply with other aspects of the SRDP, which includes specifying the duration of any period of noncompliance with the physician self-referral statute. That requirement remains unchanged by the recently added FAQs and a disclosing party must continue to specify the duration of any period of noncompliance, even if that period exceeds the time period that the party must submit financial analysis for.
The new guidance provided by the recent FAQs is a positive development for providers, as it reduces the burden on a provider who participates in the SRDP process.