CMS anti-fraud contractors may consolidate under Trump administration

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' anti-fraud contractors could consolidate as part of President Donald Trump's plan to cut federal spending, some experts believe.

CMS awarded seven contracts through its Unified Program Integrity Contractor program last August, which consolidated some existing contractor programs. Additional regrouping and trimming could reflect Trump's promise to “rein in government spending and streamline the fight against fraud,” Bloomberg BNA reported Thursday.

“The idea of UPIC consolidation was to improve the efficiency of program integrity work, and part of the consolidation plan was the creation of a unified case management system so that the contractors weren't duplicating work or stepping on each other's cases,” Ellyn Sternfield, a healthcare attorney for Mintz Levin, told Bloomberg.

That consolidation could benefit healthcare providers by reducing redundant programs and creating more uniform anti-fraud policies, but it could cause confusion, said Judith Waltz, an attorney with Foley & Lardner.

“On the other hand, every time there's a contractor change, there's at least some disruption in operations that results in delays or worse if the files aren't transitioned appropriately,” Waltz said.