The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an update to its Work Plan on May 28 that included several new Medicare-related topics for OIG audit or inspection. These additions expand OIG’s work in areas that OIG has previously identified as priorities, such as hospital-based services, lab testing and Part D payments. These new topics included:
- Hospital outpatient intensity-modulated radiation therapy claims;
- Payments for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests, including the top 25 clinical diagnostic laboratory tests by Medicare expenditures in 2014. This report is required by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act; and
- Compliance with various aspects of the inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system, including the documentation required 42 CFR § 412.622(a)(3) (4) and (5).
- Examining billing trends within the Part D program, especially those for opioid drugs and pharmacy billing patterns.
OIG also announced several new programmatic studies and reports, including:
- Examining hospital preparedness for public health emergencies due to high-risk infectious diseases.
- Identifying best practices and possible challenges in Accountable Care Organizations’ (ACO) use of electronic health records, such as interoperability issues.
- Whether the durable medical equipment competitive bidding program is affecting beneficiary access to certain items, citing to “anecdotal reports [that] allege that competitive bidding has led to reduced access to DME and, in turn, compromised the quality of care beneficiaries receive” as the reason for adding this review.
- Creating a portfolio report of the OIG’s Medicare Part D oversight work to summarize OIG audits, evaluations, legal opinions and investigative work, and provide progress information on recommendations to improve oversight of the program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, plan sponsors and Medicare Drug Integrity Contractors or MEDICs. This report will likely be similar to the 2012 portfolio report highlighting OIG’s work on personal care services.
- Examining CMS’s management of the Open Payments program, including CMS’ oversight of manufacturers’ and group purchasing organizations’ compliance with data reporting requirements and whether the required data for physician and teaching hospital payments is accurately and completely displayed in the publicly available database.