Report: Improper Medicare Advantage payments fell $1.2 billion in 2011

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Report: Improper Medicare Advantage payments fell $1.2 billion in 2011
Report: Improper Medicare Advantage payments fell $1.2 billion in 2011

Recovery audit contractors and other quality assurance efforts allowed Medicare Advantage to reduce improper payments by $1.2 billion in 2011, according to a new government report.

Physician outreach, MA's organizational guidance and additional training also have helped the government better identify overpayments, according to the written Congressional testimony of Beryl H. Davis, the Government Accountability Office's director of financial management and assurance.

Medicare Advantage, which covers skilled nursing facility stays following acute episodes and other post-acute care, has been the target of increased federal scrutiny after a previous GAO report found that MA plans were overpaid up to $3.1 billion in 2010. Its poor performance was attributed to insufficient documentation, errors in the transfer and interpretation of data and payment calculations, according to Davis.