"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Error Rate Among Medicare Auditors High

Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC) have recovered more dollars in 2011 than they did in 2010 but this metric of success may overstate their value.

A Washington Post story from yesterday, November 14 2011, shows that Medicare auditors make overpayment determinations based on "inaccurate data".

RAC activity in 2011 was centered in the West and the Southern United States.

Florida$7.1 million
California$7.7 million
Washington$5.3 million
Texas$5.8 million

"The error rate in the Medicare RAC process is disturbingly high, especially since the cost of filing an appeal can be prohibitive," said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD.

"The AMA is working with CMS to improve this process and decrease the financial and administrative burden on physicians."
A 2010 Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report found that CMS...
"...did not sufficiently oversee the RACs during the demonstration project to ensure the vulnerabilities pursued by RACs were valid and that RACs made accurate improper payment determinations.

According to provider associations, this led to numerous appeals of inaccurate RAC determinations that were expensive and burdensome for providers."
Physical therapists can reduce their risk of a RAC audit, or any Medicare audit by following the seven components of the OIG Compliance Program for Individual and Small Group Physician Practices.

Also, join the email tutorial in the sign-in boxes above or below this post.

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

"Make Decisions like Doctors"

Copyright 2007-2010 by Tim Richardson, PT.
No reproduction without authorization.

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Consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association Vision Statement for Physical Therapy 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association supports exclusive physical therapist ownership and operation of physical therapy services.