The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun the initial phase-in of its Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program by announcing the four new contractors that will administer the program. Each RAC will be responsible for identifying overpayment and underpayments in approximately one-quarter of the country, according to the agency.
The contractors are:
Additional states will be added to each RAC region in 2009, according to the CMS. The RAC program, initially pilot-tested in several states, was created to identify and correct improper Medicare payments paid to healthcare providers in fee-for-service Medicare. In July, the CMS reported the demonstration project recovered $1 billion in improper payments made since 2005.
HHS is required to make it a permanent, national program in all 50 states by Jan. 1, 2010. Read more about the program.