OIG calls for crackdown

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The government has renewed criticism of provider billing methods for therapy and says it will be re-evaluating the entire process.

A new report from the Office of Inspector General says Medicare's payment process needs changes to stop operators from exploiting the system.

SNF Medicare payments for therapy greatly exceeded the costs of therapy over a 10-year period, according to the OIG report, which was released Sept. 30. Federal authors pointed out an increasing number of SNFs overbilled Medicare for the highest level of therapy, despite beneficiary attribute remaining largely unchanged.

They also urged regulators to review how therapy payment rates should be reduced, change the method of payment for therapy, and increase billing oversight.

Provider leaders urged “thoughtful” consideration before any changes would be made.

The administration's scolding over SNF therapy billing comes on the heels of a scathing Wall Street Journal report in August focusing on high levels of Ultra High therapy billings.