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Continuing the Spotlight on Medicare Providers and Suppliers: New OIG Report Details Program Integrity Problems with Newly Enrolled Medical Equipment Suppliers

by George B. Breen and Amy F. Lerman

According to a new report released in December 2011 by the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”), more than 25 percent of all durable medical equipment (“DME”) suppliers faced enforcement actions by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during their first year of participation in the Medicare program. In its report, the OIG reviewed a sample of 229 newly enrolled suppliers and examined multiple data sources in order to assess the extent, if any, that the suppliers in the sample had program integrity issues. According to the report, during the first year of participation in the Medicare program, 26 percent of those suppliers classified as medium or high risk by the National Supplier Clearinghouse (“NSC”) for committing fraud, and 2 percent of those deemed low-risk by the NSC, had their Medicare billing privileges revoked or were subjected to prepayment claims review. This Alert addresses why DME suppliers, being among those that are subject to the highest levels of screening and scrutiny, need to be aware of these finding and offers thoughts on what suppliers need to do now to prevent and detect potential fraud, avoid prepayment review, and/or revocation of Medicare billing privileges.

Read the full alert here