CMS delays RAC prepayment demo, again

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has delayed the launch of Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) prepayment audits, yet again. CMS has vowed to give physicians 30 days' notice prior to the program's start.

The prepayment demonstration was set to start June 1 in 11 states. CMS received push back from many specialty groups, including the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) and the American Medical Association (AMA), among others. The groups argued that the RAC demo could threaten access to care and “inappropriately utilize the RACs,” according to SCAI.

Initially, the start date for the demo was set for Jan. 1; however, advocates won over the CMS after voicing concerns with the agency’s plans. SCAI submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), asking the OMB to deny the CMS request for clearance of these audits due to “inaccuracies and inconsistencies.”

In the letter, dated Dec. 15, 2011, SCAI wrote that the prepayment audits “have the potential to do more harm than good in support of efforts to provide the highest quality patient care to Medicare beneficiaries.”