Late release of CMS Medicare payment error report troubles Grassley

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Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)

An official Medicare payment error report is a month past due, and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is not pleased about it.

The official Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' FY 2009 Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) report was due to Congress on Nov. 16, according to Grassley, who sent a letter last week to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Though CMS released the FY 2009 Medicare error rate Nov. 17, the official report remains missing. CMS also said in November that it would change the methodology with which it calculates the Medicare payment error rate. Meanwhile, Congress has yet to receive the Medicare CERT report for FY 2008, Grassley said.

“This is the second year without an authoritative audit that provides a breakdown of payment error rates by provider type,” Grassley wrote. “Whatever the reason for the agency's inability to provide the data, the result is ineffective management of scarce Medicare dollars.”