CMS streamlines fraud prevention with quicker verification

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will streamline its vendor verification systems later this year and in early 2012, according to a senior CMS official.

Dr. Peter Budetti, CMS's deputy administrator for program integrity, said that risk-based screenings for would-be Medicare providers would soon be streamlined to a 10-day verification process, down from the current 60 days.

Meanwhile, automated provider screenings would be in place by the end of 2011. E-signature verifications for submissions would be permitted in January 2012, while a centralized portal would also be operational early next year. Budetti presented the timeline at UCLA last week to kick off Healthcare Fraud Prevention and Awareness Month.

Budetti said the changes would help along provider verifications submitted in bulk, such as hospitals and their affiliated businesses.

CMS has instituted wide-ranging initiatives to combat Medicare fraud, claiming they would eventually save billions of dollars a year. However, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office said they are lagging in implementation.

For more:
- read the GAO report
- visit the CMS Program Integrity page

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