Although the Obama administration has made some progress in implementing various anti-fraud programs for Medicare, it continues to lag in efforts to implement upfront screening of providers, according to a government audit (PDF).
The CMS was hailed in the Government Accountability Office report for its provider screening efforts in implementing portions of the 2010 federal healthcare-reform law, which aimed to tighten such screening of Medicare providers. For instance, the agency has succeeded in shifting "some" provider screening from a database of information collected from states and other sources to contractors that provide enrollment screening and site visits. Such efforts will "improve the accuracy and timeliness" of provider screening information, the GAO found.
The audit hit the agency for lagging in two other provider screening efforts. One reform-law provision required regulations by November 2011 to mandate that providers disclose relationships with any other providers subject to disciplinary actions by federal agencies, such as payment suspensions by any federal healthcare program. But it remains unclear when such rules will be published.