The government plans a 'computer matching program' to combat improper Medicare, Medicaid payments

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The government plans to start a “computer matching program” to reduce improper payments from government health programs to providers and other entities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced in a memorandum Friday.

The program will use data from the Treasury Department's Bureau of Fiscal Service regarding individuals and organizations excluded from receiving payments, contracts or other benefits from Medicare and Medicaid. The CMS Center for Program Integrity will match that information against records in the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System.

The resulting matched data will be used “in a variety of activities related to the enrollment of healthcare professionals, to check payments made to providers and physicians, to verify that providers submitting claims are not deceased, and to collect debts owed to federal or state governments,” the CMS document states.

The public is invited to comment on the program proposal through Oct. 8. The CMS notice is scheduled to be published today in the Federal Register.