CMS announced on February 13  (and to be published in a Federal Register notice this week) that despite the general guideline that final rules be issued within 3 years of a proposed or interim final rule, CMS will be taking an additional year to finalize the “Medicare Program; Reporting and Returning of Overpayments” final rule.   In February 2012 (see EBG’s February 22, 2012 Client Alert), CMS issued a proposed rule on the requirements under the ACA to report and return overpayments within 60 days to the Medicare program for providers and suppliers of services under Parts A and B.  CMS stated, “in this case, the complexity of the rule and scope of comments warrants the extension of the timeline for publication.”

While this does not otherwise impact the necessity, per the statute, that overpayments must be returned, as CMS reminds in its announcement – it is interesting that CMS has taken this long to finalize a rule implementing this requirement.  Significantly, this delay means we still await the fate of CMS’s proposal to implement a ten-year look-back period for paid claims – in contrast to the current 4 year period for claims re-openings, except in cases of fraud.