A House bill introduced by Reps. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Devin Nunes
(R-Calif.) would place a one-year moratorium on Medicares Recovery Audit Contractor program. The legislation would specifically require the CMS and the Government Accountability Office to evaluate the program during the moratorium and report to Congress on their findings. Recovery audit contractors review Medicare claims to identify improper payments to hospitals. The program began as a demonstration project made permanent by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 and operates in five states. Contractors get to keep a percentage of the improper payments they collect from providers. The CMS scaled back a plan to expand the program to all 50 states by March 2008. In a revision issued Nov. 7, the agency said it would expand to only 15 new states by March, said Don May, vice president for policy at the American Hospital Association.