OIG: Medicare contractors, antipsychotics in SNFs to get a closer look

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The Medicare contractors keeping close tabs on long-term care facilities will be subject to oversight too, according to a federal working plan released this week.

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General outlined which departments and agencies it'll be looking closely at in fiscal year 2013. In the OIG's Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2013, the agency will be reviewing the effectiveness of Medicare Administrative Contractors, Recovery Audit Contractors and Zone Program Integrity Contractors, all of which have been under fire from lawmakers and providers in recent months. Critics have charged that these contractors unfairly target nursing home therapy claims, and that they are unproductive.

These types of Medicare contractors are tasked with identifying overpayments to providers and detecting fraud.

The OIG also will review the use of atypical antipsychotics in skilled nursing facilities, according to the work plan.

“We will assess nursing homes' administration of atypical antipsychotic drugs, including the percentage of residents receiving these drugs and the types of drugs most commonly received. We will also describe

the characteristics associated with nursing homes that frequently administer atypical antipsychotic drugs,” the report states.

Click here to read the OIG's plan in full.