Tuesday, March 11, 2014

HHS OIG says that Less Than Half of Part D Sponsors Voluntarily Reported Data on Potential Fraud and Abuse

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General

Report (OEI-03-13-00030) 03-03-2014
Less Than Half of Part D Sponsors Voluntarily Reported Data on Potential Fraud and Abuse

Summary:   In 2011, total expenditures for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program were $67.1 billion. CMS contracts with plan sponsors to provide Part D coverage to beneficiaries. The Office of Inspector General has recommended that CMS require sponsors to report data on potential fraud and abuse related to Part D to CMS. Rather than requiring these data, CMS encouraged sponsors to voluntarily report them beginning in 2010. This study provides information on the fraud and abuse data reported by sponsors and on whether CMS used these data to monitor or oversee the Part D program. 

OIG  accessed CMS's Healthcare Plan Management System to download data on potential fraud and abuse reported by Part D plan sponsors from 2010 through 2012. It also accessed CMS's public files of Part D enrollment to determine the number of beneficiaries enrolled in Part D plans from 2010 through 2012. OIG reviewed the sponsors' aggregate data to determine the number and percentage of sponsors that reported data on potential fraud and abuse each year. In addition, it  surveyed CMS about its review and use of these reported data. 

More than half of Part D plan sponsors did not report data on potential fraud and abuse between 2010 and 2012. Of those sponsors that did report data, more than one-third did not identify any incidents for at least one of their reporting years. In total, sponsors reported identifying 64,135 incidents of potential fraud and abuse between 2010 and 2012. Sponsors' identification of such incidents varied significantly, from 0 to almost 14,000 incidents a year. CMS requires sponsors to conduct inquiries and implement corrective actions in response to incidents of potential fraud and abuse; however, 28 percent of Part D plan sponsors reported performing none of these actions between 2010 and 2012. Although CMS reported that it conducted basic summary analyses of the data on potential fraud and abuse, it did not perform quality assurance checks on the data or use them to monitor or oversee the Part D program.

OIG recommends that CMS (1) amend regulations to require sponsors to report to CMS their identification of and response to potential fraud and abuse; (2) provide sponsors with specific guidelines on how to define and count incidents, related inquiries, and corrective actions; (3) review data to determine why certain sponsors treported especially high or low numbers of incidents, related inquiries, and corrective actions; and (4) share sponsors' data on potential fraud and abuse with all sponsors and law enforcement. CMS did not concur with the first recommendation, partially concurred with the second and fourth recommendations, and concurred with the third recommendation.

Download the complete report.

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