CMS created provider payment delays during MAC implementation

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) takes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to task in a new report for provider payment delays and other problems related to Medicare contracting reform. CMS' accelerated implementation schedule for transitioning from fiscal intermediaries to Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) "overlapped with other Medicare initiatives that affected claims processing, such as requiring that providers re-enroll in order to be paid, which resulted in claims payment delays," says the GAO. In addition, CMS failed to give the MACs accurate workload estimates. "[O]ne MAC originally planned on receiving 15,000 appeals cases but actually inherited 46,500 cases, which led to processing backlogs and delayed payments to providers," notes the GAO. Report