The OIG has issued a report entitled "Use of Payment Suspensions to Prevent Inappropriate Medicare Payments." Under current regulations (prior to CMS’s new ACA authority), CMS may suspend payments to any Medicare provider when it has reliable information that the provider was overpaid for previously-submitted claims. CMS imposes suspensions for: (1) fraud or willful misrepresentation, (2) when an overpayment exists but the amount has not been determined, and (3) when payments made or to be made may be incorrect. According to the OIG, overpayments to providers in 2007 and 2008 totaled at least $206 million, and Part B providers composed 85% of the 253 payment suspensions imposed in that period. The great majority of providers that CMS suspended in those years exhibited characteristics that suggest fraud. The OIG concluded that CMS provides inconsistent guidance regarding payment suspensions, particularly in specifying the types of information that its contractors should submit with a request for a suspension, and in describing the circumstances in which an extension is permitted. Note that the findings in this report do not reflect the new payment suspension provisions authorized by the ACA, which allow a provider's payments to be suspended based on a credible allegation of fraud, unless there is good cause not to suspend such payments. As previously reported, on September 23, 2010, CMS issued proposed regulations for these provisions. The OIG observes that its findings may be useful to CMS when it finalizes these regulations and develops guidance for the new provisions.