CMS uses new, stricter standards in calculating improper Medicare payment rates, agency says

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Wednesday it has improved calculations of improper Medicare payment rates for 2009.

The move is part of the Obama administration's attempt to cut fraud and waste in the healthcare system, according to CMS. The new policy significantly revises and improves calculations of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) error rates to reflect a more complete accounting of improper Medicare payments than in past years. CMS hopes to be able to use the new, stricter guidelines to identify abusive and potentially fraudulent actions before they become problems, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Both CMS and HHS say they will invest more time and resources in working with providers from all fields of healthcare to reduce payment errors.