A July 18 article in Bloomberg BNA's Health Care Daily Report and other publications, "Health-Care Watchdog to Review Medicaid Opioid Claims," discussed plans by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services to review electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments made to hospitals. A June report by the OIG, discussed here, estimated that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) overpaid eligible professionals $729 million in EHR incentives between 2011 and 2014.

In the Bloomberg BNA article, Day Pitney healthcare attorney Eric Fader observed that the overpayment illustrates the difficulty CMS has had in administering the EHR program. “I'm sure the OIG expects that out of the $14.6 billion in incentives paid to hospitals from 2011 through 2016, it will uncover another massive overpayment amount,” Eric said. It's not clear how many of the overpayments under the EHR program were due to sloppiness in submissions and how many were the product of intentional wrongdoing, Eric said, adding that a thorough OIG audit of EHR incentive payments to hospitals is overdue.