Preparing for the 'big RAC attack'

No, Recovery Audit Contractors aren't a joke--though one wag recently dubbed their coming the "big RAC attack"--and making sure your institution survives their scrutiny unscathed is a serious problem. You can try to fight, but it's probably not going to help. (And hey, hasn't CMS sworn that they want the RAC program to be fair? Isn't that good enough for everyone? Yeah, I wouldn't be reassured either.)

So you can be sure that at ANI, people will be swapping advice and hanging on every word of folks who say they can help providers get through RAC reviews. And they'll have plenty to consider. Any vendor that offers claims processing technology or consulting is likely to claim that they have the answer to coping with the RACs. Even if those vendors are full of hot air, it's hard to tell at first glance, so expect to do some serious filtering and sorting.

Those who want a workshop-like atmosphere will have many opportunities, too. This year you can attend what look like some rich sessions on how to code Medicare claims properly to avoid RAC scrutiny, and if necessary, cope with RAC audits. In sessions like these, you'll get to drill down into coding other procedural details that help you avoid unwanted attention.

Still, in the final analysis, the hallway discussions with peers on how to improve processes are likely to be just as important--if not more so--than the educated advice offered in sessions and on the exhibit floor. I can almost hear the buzz already.