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Obamacare Correction To Medicare Could Cost Over $1B

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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An Obama administration rule requiring Medicare providers and suppliers report and return overpayments to users within 60 days of identification, is projected to cost more than $1.3 billion over the course of a decade.

Each report response will need an estimated six hours of labor at a rate of $53.72, with the total annual paperwork burden falling to around 3 million hours – costing taxpayers approximately $161 million a year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) estimates.

Final Rule

Source: Final Rule

If the overpayments aren’t returned within the timeframe alloted – even before the rule was implemented – by providers who “knowingly recieved” the find, they could potentially face a False Claims Act liability, Civil Monetary Penalties Law liability and be excluded from federal healthcare programs for their failure.

“The requirements in this rule are meant to ensure compliance with applicable statutes, promote the furnishing of high quality care, and to protect the Medicare Trust Funds against fraud and improper payments,” the rule, published on the Federal Register Friday reads. “This rule provides needed clarity and consistency in the reporting and returning of self-identified overpayments.”
The rule solidifies the language in Obamacare that required all healthcare providers to self-identify overpayments.
“Since passage, based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed costs of $51.5 billion in state and private-sector burdens and 179.3 million annual paperwork hours (170.5 million from final rules),” American Action Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based, center-right policy institute, said in a statement.
While the rule is costly, a CMS report estimates by ending overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, it will save $125 billion over the course of a decade.

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