Medicare Advantage saw $1.2 billion reduction in 2011 improper payments

A recent government report found that Medicare Advantage (MA) was able to reduce improper payments by $1.2 billion last year, thanks to the work of recovery audit contractors and other quality assurance efforts.

According to the written Congressional testimony of Beryl H. Davis, the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) director of financial management and assurance, cited by McKnight's, MA was also able to help the government better identify overpayments through organizational guidance, additional training and physician outreach.

MA – also known as Medicare Part C – hasn't always been so successful, the source notes. The program, which pertains to skilled nursing facility stays in the aftermath of acute episodes and post-acute care, delivered sub-par performance in 2010. An earlier GAO report found that MA plans were overpaid up to $3.1 billion in 2010. The report cited insufficient documentation, data interpretation and transfer mistakes and payment calculation errors, according to Davis.

The latest GAO report delivers positive news at a time when hospital administrators and other healthcare providers are preparing for an increase in recovery audits from the National Recovery Audit Contractor program, according to Healthcare Finance News.

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