An advocacy group for independent Medicare auditors has sharply criticized two bills that would put new controls on Recovery Audit Contractors. The Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2013 was introduced in the House of Representatives in March. A Senate version of the bill was introduced last month. The bill would rein in auditors and improve transparency, which have been provider concerns.
A new Senate bill addresses provider concerns over the Medicare audit process, including the role of Recovery Audit Contractors. The House is also considering a version of the "Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2013," which lawmakers originally introduced in October 2012 and reintroduced in March.
Nursing home residents' spouses and attorneys-in-fact do not necessarily meet the definition of "personal representatives" under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, so providers should not automatically make residents' personal health information available to these parties, a federal appeals court recently ruled.
Healthcare providers do not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy regulations if they share patient information in the interest of public safety, according to a letter sent last week by Leon Rodriguez, the director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
The Department of Health and Human Services issued an "omnibus" rule Thursday, comprehensively updating Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy and security regulations passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Medicare recovery audit contractors (RACs) can now request twice as many resident medical records than previously allowed, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.