Revenue Cycle

Tip: Find out how non-hospital providers can get the RAC education they

Recovery Auditor Report, April 2, 2009

CMS has recently announced the first round of provider information and outreach sessions on RACs. CMS is partnering with state hospital associations, state medical societies, and CMS regional offices to roll out these meetings.
 
But there seems to be a problem. If you are a non-hospital provider (e.g., a home health agency, rehab agency or private practice physical therapy company), you may find you don’t quite fit in. For example, if you tried to sign up for the “provider” meeting in Florida occurring March 26, you probably discovered you were unable to sign up unless you were a member of a Florida hospital. Even an outreach meeting that CMS listed as not specific to hospitals, in fact was really only for hospitals.
 
So what does a non-hospital provider do? Non-hospital providers could consider attending the meetings CMS is holding that are focused on providers at its the Atlanta regional office. This includes information for skilled facilities and hospices. 
 
 A few other tips for non-hospital providers include the following: 
  • Contact your national trade organization. Express your concerns to organizations such as the American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org), the National Association of Rehab Providers and Agencies (www.naranet.org), or the National Association for Homecare and Hospice (www.nahc.org).
  • Contact CMS itself to explain your concerns. (E-mail CMS at RAC@cms.hhs.gov.)
  • Attend a CMS Special Open Door Forum on RACs. (See above for additional information.) These will be occurring in mid-April for Part A and Part B providers.
  • When considering conferences and Webinars, focus on those that provide concrete actions steps to guard against audits, adequately prepare for audits, help bulletproof your system, train your staff members, and establish your facility’s RAC protocol.
Editor’s note: This tip is provided by Nancy Beckley, MS, MBA, CHC, of Certified Healthcare Compliance at Bloomingdale Consulting Group, Inc., in Brandon, FL.

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