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OIG Releases Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations

Last week, the OIG released it’s Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations that “consolidates significant unimplemented monetary and nonmonetary recommendations addressed to the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to provide information to interested parties about outstanding recommendations….” While these have not been implemented, it is something we want our clients and readers to be aware of. It shows the direction the OIG is going and where it is focusing its efforts. Some relevant recommendations are below:

Hospices:
1. Due to the high number of hospices that were overdue in their certifications and due to the almost 50% of hospices having health deficiencies, the OIG recommends that CMS adopt statutory or regulatory changes to establish requirements for the frequency of certifications for hospice performance and for enforcing the remedies for a hospice’s poor performance.
2. The OIG recommends that CMS strengthens its monitoring practices of hospice claims to ensure that they are properly submitted.

Home Health Agencies:
1. Due to the high levels of medically unnecessary care and fraudulent billing, the OIG recommends that CMS revise its regulations to require physicians to examine Medicare beneficiaries prior to ordering home health services.
2. For those HHAs performing poorly, the OIG recommends that CMS adopt and impose sanctions (besides termination from Medicare) to improve the quality of care.

Laboratory and Imaging Services:
1. To prevent over-utilization of laboratory testing, the OIG recommends that CMS reinstate beneficiary co-insurance and deductibles for lab tests.
2. The OIG recommends that CMS pursue legislation to set accurate and reasonable payment rates for lab tests as the carrier rates for nearly all lab tests varied.
3. Because few counties account for a large percentage of the Part B spending on ultrasound and because 20% of claims raised concern about whether or not they were appropriate, OIG recommends that CMS continue to monitor ultrasound claims to reduce Medicare’s vulnerability to questionable ultrasound claims.

Again, these are merely recommendations and have not been implemented. However, they are useful in seeing where the OIG is looking to make changes and what kinds of changes we can expect from CMS in the future. We will continue to keep you apprised of any updates and regulatory changes as they develop.

For more information, please contact Adrienne Dresevic, Esq. or Carey F. Kalmowitz, Esq. at (248) 996-8510, visit our Diagnostic Imaging Arrangements specialty page, or the HLP website.

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