How hospitals can better prepare for recovery audit contractors

Dealing with claims made by recovery audit contractors can be a very time-consuming task for hospitals. To alleviate some of those issues and help hospitals engage in better management that will keep RACs at bay, Elizabeth Lamkin, CEO of Pace Healthcare, recently offered a few tips.

Lamkin suggests forming a committee that will engage in all direct contact with RACs. She says that putting the responsibility of all recovery audits in the hands of one person can be burdensome. Instead, she says an RAC committee should be formulated to include administrators, physicians, nurses and other officials.

Always include the hospital's chief financial officer. By doing so, and by providing more consistent reports to the executive board, the committee will decrease the chances of filing falsified reports.

"Since billing compliance could turn into a fraud issue, the board should be in the loop. This can be limited to high-level reports encompassing just a few slides of information," Lamkin writes.

Lastly, hospitals should assign an admission case manager. This person would be responsible for overseeing communications between physicians and advisors, as well as monitoring bed assignments so that all documentation is properly filed upon patient discharges.

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