The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Work Plan. The Plan contains new priorities specific to Hospitals in areas related to Policies and Practices, Billing and Payments, and Quality of Care and Safety. For a complete copy of the OIG 2014 Work Plan, please click here.
The OIG Work Plan provides a description of what the OIG will be focusing on in the coming year, giving providers insight into identifying corporate compliance risk areas and providing focus for ongoing efforts relating to compliance program activities, audits, and policy development. Some of the hospital-specific priority areas identified as ‘New’ include the following:
A. Policies and Practices
- 2 Midnight Rule: As of FY 2014, physicians should admit inpatients where they expect the patient’s care to last at least 2 nights in the hospital. This modification is due to the OIG’s previous findings of over payments for inpatient stays, inappropriate billings and inconsistent billing practices. OIG plans to review the impact of this new admission criteria and how billing varies among hospitals.
- Defective Medical Devices: OIG will review the increased costs to Medicare resulting from additional services necessitated by the use of defective medical devices.
- Comparison of Provider-Based and Free-Standing Clinics: OIG will compare the payments made in provider-based settings and free-standing clinics with respect to similar procedures to determine the potential impact to the Medicare program for hospitals claiming provider-based status, and presumably, whether providers claiming provider-based status meet the criteria in 42 CFR § 413.65(d).
B. Billing and Payments
- Outpatient Evaluation and Management Services: OIG will review payments made for outpatient E/M services to determine if they were appropriately billed as “new” or “established.” Patients are generally considered “new” unless they were seen as a registered inpatient or outpatient within the past 3 years.
- Cardiac Catheterization and Heart Biopsies: Billings for right heart catheterizations will be reviewed to determine if they were appropriately billed separate and apart from billings for heart biopsies.
- Payments for Patients Diagnosed with Kwashiorkor: Due to the high level of reimbursement, billings for Kwashiorkor will be reviewed to determine whether diagnoses are supported by the medical record.
- Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplants: OIG will review procedure and diagnosis codes to determine the appropriateness of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation.
C. Quality of Care and Safety
- Pharmaceutical Compounding: In light of a recent meningitis outbreak resulting from contaminated injections of compounded drugs, OIG will review the oversight and accreditation assessment of pharmaceutical compounding in Medicare-participating acute care hospitals.
- Review of Hospital Privileging: OIG will review how hospitals consider medical staff candidates prior to granting initial privileges, verification of credentials, and review of the National Practitioner Databank.
For additional information regarding the 2014 OIG Workplan or hospital/corporate compliance please contact Adam Snyder.