Legislation to muzzle Medicare auditors has received the biggest hospital lobbying push this year—so far, to little effect.
The Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2013 was the subject of more hospital lobbying reports so far this year than any other legislation, according to reports compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The lobbying push was led by the powerhouse American Hospital Association, which spent $4.3 million so far this year lobbying Congress. But the AHA's legislative push on the audit bill was joined by the Federation of American Hospitals and six state hospital associations.
The legislation, introduced March 19 by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), would modify the Recovery Audit Contractor program to establish a hard cap on additional document requests that Medicare auditors demand from providers, among other changes. The bill would limit the document requests to 2% of hospital claims and a maximum of 500 ADRs over 45 days.
The legislation was needed because hospitals—especially smaller facilities—were frustrated by the increasingly large administrative burdens stemming from Medicare audit contractors' document requests, Graves noted in a release.