U.S Code last checked for updates: May 26, 2024
§ 1395ddd.
Medicare Integrity Program
(a)
Establishment of Program
(b)
Activities described
The activities described in this subsection are as follows:
(1)
Review of activities of providers of services or other individuals and entities furnishing items and services for which payment may be made under this subchapter (including skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies), including medical and utilization review and fraud review (employing similar standards, processes, and technologies used by private health plans, including equipment and software technologies which surpass the capability of the equipment and technologies used in the review of claims under this subchapter as of August 21, 1996).
(2)
Audit of cost reports.
(3)
Determinations as to whether payment should not be, or should not have been, made under this subchapter by reason of section 1395y(b) of this title, and recovery of payments that should not have been made.
(4)
Education of providers of services, beneficiaries, and other persons with respect to payment integrity and benefit quality assurance issues.
(5)
Developing (and periodically updating) a list of items of durable medical equipment in accordance with section 1395m(a)(15) of this title which are subject to prior authorization under such section.
(6)
The Medicare-Medicaid Data Match Program in accordance with subsection (g).
(c)
Eligibility of entities
An entity is eligible to enter into a contract under the Program to carry out any of the activities described in subsection (b) if—
(1)
the entity has demonstrated capability to carry out such activities;
(2)
in carrying out such activities, the entity agrees to cooperate with the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Attorney General, and other law enforcement agencies, as appropriate, in the investigation and deterrence of fraud and abuse in relation to this subchapter and in other cases arising out of such activities;
(3)
the entity complies with such conflict of interest standards as are generally applicable to Federal acquisition and procurement;
(4)
the entity agrees to provide the Secretary and the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services with such performance statistics (including the number and amount of overpayments recovered, the number of fraud referrals, and the return on investment of such activities by the entity) as the Secretary or the Inspector General may request; and
(5)
the entity meets such other requirements as the Secretary may impose.
In the case of the activity described in subsection (b)(5), an entity shall be deemed to be eligible to enter into a contract under the Program to carry out the activity if the entity is a carrier with a contract in effect under section 1395u of this title.
(d)
Process for entering into contracts
The Secretary shall enter into contracts under the Program in accordance with such procedures as the Secretary shall by regulation establish, except that such procedures shall include the following:
(1)
Procedures for identifying, evaluating, and resolving organizational conflicts of interest that are generally applicable to Federal acquisition and procurement.
(2)
Competitive procedures to be used—
(A)
when entering into new contracts under this section;
(B)
when entering into contracts that may result in the elimination of responsibilities of an individual fiscal intermediary or carrier under section 202(b) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; and
(C)
at any other time considered appropriate by the Secretary,
except that the Secretary may continue to contract with entities that are carrying out the activities described in this section pursuant to agreements under section 1395h of this title or contracts under section 1395u of this title in effect on August 21, 1996.
(3)
Procedures under which a contract under this section may be renewed without regard to any provision of law requiring competition if the contractor has met or exceeded the performance requirements established in the current contract.
The Secretary may enter into such contracts without regard to final rules having been promulgated.
(e)
Limitation on contractor liability
(f)
Recovery of overpayments
(1)
Use of repayment plans
(A)
In general
Hardship
(i)
In general
For purposes of subparagraph (A), the repayment of an overpayment (or overpayments) within 30 days is deemed to constitute a hardship if—
(I)
in the case of a provider of services that files cost reports, the aggregate amount of the overpayments exceeds 10 percent of the amount paid under this subchapter to the provider of services for the cost reporting period covered by the most recently submitted cost report; or
(II)
in the case of another provider of services or supplier, the aggregate amount of the overpayments exceeds 10 percent of the amount paid under this subchapter to the provider of services or supplier for the previous calendar year.
(ii)
Rule of application
(iii)
Treatment of previous overpayments
(C)
Exceptions
Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if—
(i)
the Secretary has reason to suspect that the provider of services or supplier may file for bankruptcy or otherwise cease to do business or discontinue participation in the program under this subchapter; or
(ii)
there is an indication of fraud or abuse committed against the program.
(D)
Immediate collection if violation of repayment plan
(E)
Relation to no fault provision
(2)
Limitation on recoupment
(A)
In general
(B)
Collection with interest
(C)
Medicare contractor defined
(3)
Limitation on use of extrapolation
A medicare contractor may not use extrapolation to determine overpayment amounts to be recovered by recoupment, offset, or otherwise unless the Secretary determines that—
(A)
there is a sustained or high level of payment error; or
(B)
documented educational intervention has failed to correct the payment error.
There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1395ff of this title, section 1395oo of this title, or otherwise, of determinations by the Secretary of sustained or high levels of payment errors under this paragraph.
(4)
Provision of supporting documentation
(5)
Consent settlement reforms
(A)
In general
(B)
Opportunity to submit additional information before consent settlement offer
Before offering a provider of services or supplier a consent settlement, the Secretary shall—
(i)
communicate to the provider of services or supplier—
(I)
that, based on a review of the medical records requested by the Secretary, a preliminary evaluation of those records indicates that there would be an overpayment;
(II)
the nature of the problems identified in such evaluation; and
(III)
the steps that the provider of services or supplier should take to address the problems; and
(ii)
provide for a 45-day period during which the provider of services or supplier may furnish additional information concerning the medical records for the claims that had been reviewed.
(C)
Consent settlement offer
The Secretary shall review any additional information furnished by the provider of services or supplier under subparagraph (B)(ii). Taking into consideration such information, the Secretary shall determine if there still appears to be an overpayment. If so, the Secretary—
(i)
shall provide notice of such determination to the provider of services or supplier, including an explanation of the reason for such determination; and
(ii)
in order to resolve the overpayment, may offer the provider of services or supplier—
(I)
the opportunity for a statistically valid random sample; or
(II)
a consent settlement.
The opportunity provided under clause (ii)(I) does not waive any appeal rights with respect to the alleged overpayment involved.
(D)
Consent settlement defined
(6)
Notice of over-utilization of codes
(7)
Payment audits
(A)
Written notice for post-payment audits
(B)
Explanation of findings for all audits
Subject to subparagraph (C), if a medicare contractor audits a provider of services or supplier under this subchapter, the contractor shall—
(i)
give the provider of services or supplier a full review and explanation of the findings of the audit in a manner that is understandable to the provider of services or supplier and permits the development of an appropriate corrective action plan;
(ii)
inform the provider of services or supplier of the appeal rights under this subchapter as well as consent settlement options (which are at the discretion of the Secretary);
(iii)
give the provider of services or supplier an opportunity to provide additional information to the contractor; and
(iv)
take into account information provided, on a timely basis, by the provider of services or supplier under clause (iii).
(C)
Exception
(8)
Standard methodology for probe sampling
(g)
Medicare-Medicaid Data Match Program
(1)
Expansion of Program
(A)
In general
The Secretary shall enter into contracts with eligible entities or otherwise for the purpose of ensuring that, beginning with 2006, the Medicare-Medicaid Data Match Program (commonly referred to as the “Medi-Medi Program”) is conducted with respect to the program established under this subchapter and State Medicaid programs under subchapter XIX for the purpose of—
(i)
identifying program vulnerabilities in the program established under this subchapter and the Medicaid program established under subchapter XIX through the use of computer algorithms to review claims data to look for payment anomalies (including billing or billing patterns identified with respect to provider, service, time, or patient that appear to be suspect or otherwise implausible);
(ii)
working with States, the Attorney General, and the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate appropriate actions to investigate and recover amounts with respect to suspect claims to protect the Federal and State share of expenditures under the Medicaid program under subchapter XIX, as well as the program established under this subchapter;
(iii)
increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of both such programs through cost avoidance, savings, and recoupments of fraudulent, wasteful, or abusive expenditures; and
(iv)
furthering the Secretary’s design, development, installation, or enhancement of an automated data system architecture—
(I)
to collect, integrate, and assess data for purposes of program integrity, program oversight, and administration, including the Medi-Medi Program; and
(II)
that improves the coordination of requests for data from States.
(B)
Reporting requirements
(2)
Limited waiver authority
(3)
Incentives for States
(h)
Use of recovery audit contractors
(1)
In general
Under the Program, the Secretary shall enter into contracts with recovery audit contractors in accordance with this subsection for the purpose of identifying underpayments and overpayments and recouping overpayments under this subchapter with respect to all services for which payment is made under this subchapter. Under the contracts—
(A)
payment shall be made to such a contractor only from amounts recovered;
(B)
from such amounts recovered, payment—
(i)
shall be made on a contingent basis for collecting overpayments; and
(ii)
may be made in such amounts as the Secretary may specify for identifying underpayments; and
(C)
the Secretary shall retain a portion of the amounts recovered which shall be available to the program management account of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for purposes of activities conducted under the recovery audit program under this subsection.
(2)
Disposition of remaining recoveries
(3)
Nationwide coverage
(4)
Audit and recovery periods
Each such contract shall provide that audit and recovery activities may be conducted during a fiscal year with respect to payments made under this subchapter—
(A)
during such fiscal year; and
(B)
retrospectively (for a period of not more than 4 fiscal years prior to such fiscal year).
(5)
Waiver
(6)
Qualifications of contractors
(A)
In general
(B)
Ineligibility of certain contractors
(C)
Preference for entities with demonstrated proficiency
(7)
Construction relating to conduct of investigation of fraud
(8)
Annual report
(9)
Special rules relating to parts C and D
The Secretary shall enter into contracts under paragraph (1) to require recovery audit contractors to—
(A)
ensure that each MA plan under part C has an anti-fraud plan in effect and to review the effectiveness of each such anti-fraud plan;
(B)
ensure that each prescription drug plan under part D has an anti-fraud plan in effect and to review the effectiveness of each such anti-fraud plan;
(C)
examine claims for reinsurance payments under section 1395w–115(b) of this title to determine whether prescription drug plans submitting such claims incurred costs in excess of the allowable reinsurance costs permitted under paragraph (2) of that section; and
(D)
review estimates submitted by prescription drug plans by private plans with respect to the enrollment of high cost beneficiaries (as defined by the Secretary) and to compare such estimates with the numbers of such beneficiaries actually enrolled by such plans.
(10)
Use of certain recovered funds
(A)
In general
(B)
Limitation
(C)
No reduction in payments to recovery audit contractors
(i)
Evaluations and annual report
(1)
Evaluations
(2)
Annual report
Not later than 180 days after the end of each fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 2011), the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress which identifies—
(A)
the use of funds, including funds transferred from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund under section 1395i of this title and the Federal Supplementary Insurance Trust Fund under section 1395t of this title, to carry out this section; and
(B)
the effectiveness of the use of such funds.
(j)
Expanding activities of Medicare drug integrity contractors (MEDICs)
(1)
Access to information
(2)
Requirement for acknowledgment of referrals
If a PDP sponsor or MA organization refers information to a contractor described in paragraph (1) in order for such contractor to assist in the determination described in such paragraph, the contractor shall—
(A)
acknowledge to the sponsor or organization receipt of the referral; and
(B)
in the case that any PDP sponsor or MA organization contacts the contractor requesting to know the determination by the contractor of whether or not an individual has been determined to be an individual described in such paragraph, shall 2
2
 So in original. The word “shall” probably should not appear.
inform such sponsor or organization of such determination on a date that is not later than 15 days after the date on which the sponsor or organization contacts the contractor.
(3)
Making data available to other entities
(A)
In general
(B)
HIPAA compliant information only
(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title XVIII, § 1893, as added Pub. L. 104–191, title II, § 202(a), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 1996; amended Pub. L. 108–173, title VII, § 736(c)(7), title IX, § 935(a), Dec. 8, 2003, 117 Stat. 2356, 2407; Pub. L. 109–171, title VI, § 6034(d)(1), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 77; Pub. L. 109–432, div. B, title III, § 302(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 2991; Pub. L. 111–148, title VI, §§ 6402(j)(1), 6411(b), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 762, 775; Pub. L. 114–10, title V, §§ 505(b), 510, Apr. 16, 2015, 129 Stat. 167, 170; Pub. L. 114–115, § 9(b), Dec. 28, 2015, 129 Stat. 3135; Pub. L. 114–198, title VII, § 704(c)(1), July 22, 2016, 130 Stat. 749.)
cite as: 42 USC 1395ddd