The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule that requires Medicare Parts A and B health care providers and suppliers to report and return overpayments by the later of the date that is 60 days after the date an overpayment was identified, or the due date of any corresponding cost report, if applicable. A separate final rule was published in the May 23, 2014 Federal Register (79 FR 29844) that addresses Medicare Parts C and D overpayments.
The requirements in this rule are meant to support compliance with applicable statutes, promote the furnishing of high quality care, and to protect the Medicare Trust Funds against improper payments, including fraudulent payment. This rule clarifies requirements for the reporting and returning of self identified overpayments. Health care providers and suppliers have been and will remain subject to the statutory requirements found in section 1128J(d) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and could face potential False Claims Act (FCA) liability, Civil Monetary Penalties Law (CMPL) liability, and exclusion from federal health care programs for failure to report and return an overpayment. Health care providers and suppliers will also continue to be required to comply with current CMS procedures when we, or our contractors, determine an overpayment exists and issue a demand letter.
Section 6402(a) of the Affordable Care Act established a new section 1128J(d) of the Act. Section 1128J(d)(1) of the Act requires a person who has received an overpayment to report and return the overpayment to the Secretary, the state, an intermediary, a carrier, or a contractor, as appropriate, at the correct address, and to notify the Secretary, state, intermediary, carrier, or contractor to whom the overpayment was returned in writing of the reason for the overpayment. Section 1128J(d)(2) of the Act requires that an overpayment be reported and returned by the later of: (A) the date which is 60 days after the date on which the overpayment was identified; or (B) the date any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable. Section 1128J(d)(3) of the Act specifies that any overpayment retained by a person after the deadline for reporting and returning an overpayment is an obligation (as defined in 31 U.S.C. 3729(b)(3)) for purposes of 31 U.S.C. 3729. In the February 16, 2012 Federal Register (77 FR 9179),
CMS published a proposed rule to implement the provisions of section 1128J(d) of the Act for Medicare Parts A and B providers and suppliers.
The major provisions of this final rule include clarifications around: the meaning of overpayment identification; the required lookback period for overpayment identification; and the methods available for reporting and returning identified overpayments to CMS.