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The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and Other Friends

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1 The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and Other Friends
OMG! OMIG! The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and Other Friends Hermes Fernandez Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC (518)

2 The Office of Medicaid Inspector General
Created by Statute (Chapter 442 of the Laws of 2006, Public Health Law sections 30-36) Independent office to detect, prevent and recover Medicaid fraud, abuse and illegal acts Approximately 700 employees

3 The Medicaid Inspector General
Jim Sheehan, appointed by Eliot Spitzer Formerly Deputy US Attorney in Philadelphia Brought a number of high profile cases against health care providers across the nation

4 OMIG’s Principle Powers
Audit Sanctions Exclusions Investigations

5 OMIG Audits Commenced by a notification letter
Audit can cover six years from date of notification letter If fraud, no time limit Audit must begin within 60 days, although OMIG can extend for another 60 days

6 OMIG Audits Take the notification letter seriously
Start gathering records Do not alter or correct records

7 OMIG Audits Notification Letter may ask for more than case records
Corporate Compliance Plan Minutes Survey Results Financial Statements

8 OMIG Audits Audit begins with an entrance conference
Pay attention Provide the records requested Keep looking On-site audit includes a closing (exit) conference Desk audit – no closing conference

9 OMIG Audits Usually done by a statistical sample
100 samples, spread over four years Sample and time can be different Results are extrapolated Findings are usually to a 90% confidence level This creates a range of potential overpayments Low point and midpoint are important

10 OMIG Audits Exit Conference Preliminary Audit Report Very important
Not required by regulations Very important Respond, keep lines open Best chance to shape the Draft Audit Report

11 OMIG Audits Draft audit report Provider response is a legal response
Findings and conclusions Provider response is a legal response This is close to OMIG’s final recoupment demand

12 OMIG Audit Provider response to draft audit due in 30 days
Extensions usually granted Provider must state all grounds for objection, e.g.: Statistical method improper Services were properly provided and recorded Audit period improper

13 OMIG Audits Final audit report Hobson’s choice
Comes with letter demanding recoupment Provider has right to evidentiary hearing before DOH ALJ Hobson’s choice If no hearing, OMIG will accept low point estimate If hearing, OMIG will seek mid-point estimate At hearing, provider bears burden of proof

14 OMIG Audit OMIG will usually recoup through a withhold
Can be total Can be reduced to 5% for undue hardship Recoupments paid over time include interest

15 OMIG Audit Recoupment continues through the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge Can be reviewed through Article 78 process Recoupment continues through judicial process Narrow window for success in Article 78

16 OMIG Audit Common bases of recoupment Missing records No notes
Note inadequately describes service Lapsed or untimely treatment plan Service does not tie to treatment plan Lack of credentials Missing signature or date

17 OMIG Sanctions Could follow audit, could come separately
Investigation will look similar to audit Notice of proposed agency action 30 days to respond Extensions are not automatic Notice of agency action May not include a right to administrative hearing

18 OMIG Sanctions Unacceptable practices False claims Care not provided
Care excessive Care inadequate Bills excessive Inadequate records Employing an excluded person

19 Immediate Sanctions Determination of imminent danger due to provider’s continued participation Exclusion first, hearing second Indictment or conviction for false billings State or federal exclusion Immediate withholds

20 OMIG Sanctions Program exclusion Censure Prior authorization
Recoupment With interest

21 Self-Disclosure Necessary when overpayments have been identified
Cannot be deliberately ignorant Neither should you hunt for unknown problems Ties into corporate compliance program

22 Self-Disclosure Make a complete disclosure OMIG web-site has protocol
Identify: Nature of Problem How Discovered Claims covered Corrective action Can be done through an intermediary Good idea

23 PPACA, FERA, and NY False Claims Act
PPACA = Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010 FERA = Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, signed by the President in May, 2009 NY False Claims Act

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL — If a person has received an overpayment, the person shall— ‘‘(A) report and return the overpayment to the Secretary, the State, an intermediary, a carrier, or a contractor, as appropriate, at the correct address; and ‘‘(B) notify the Secretary, State, intermediary, carrier, or contractor to whom the overpayment was returned in writing of the reason for the overpayment

PPACA: ‘‘(B) OVERPAYMENT—The term ‘‘overpayment’’ means any funds that a person receives or retains under title XVIII (Medicare) or XIX (Medicaid) to which the person, after applicable reconciliation, is not entitled under such title” NEW YORK: “An overpayment includes any amount not authorized to be paid under the medical assistance program, whether paid as the result of inaccurate or improper cost reporting, improper claiming, unacceptable practices, fraud, abuse or mistake.” 18 NYCRR § 518.1(c).

18 NYCRR 515.2 Conduct contrary to the rules and regulations of DSS, DOH, NYSED, OPWDD, OMH, OASAS, U.S. HHS, and specifically includes: False or fraudulent claims Bribes and kickbacks Failing to meet the standard of care Employment of sanctioned persons Unacceptable recordkeeping

An overpayment must 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 on which any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable

OMIG: “identified” means learning of the fact that an overpayment has been received, not the amount of the overpayment When do providers learn of the fact of an overpayment?

PPACA: overpayments are funds received and retained “after applicable reconciliation” suggests that provider has an opportunity to “reconcile” whether an overpayment occurred Interview employees Assess circumstances Consult with counsel

No obligation to report if your investigation concludes no overpayment was made Risk is on provider who decides not to report

Create a record of your organization’s efforts to address allegations of overpayments Develop form to document employee’s internal disclosure Document interviews Document evidence Record of employees involved in determination Timely repayment as an element of an effective compliance program

Overpayments should be returned, reported, and explained to OMIG Self-Disclosure Protocol Providers may use void process through CSC for smaller or routine claims - $5,000 or less Billing errors Late reimbursement Documentation anomalies

Duplicate payments Services not actually rendered Payment already made by primary insurance Payment for services rendered during a period of non-entitlement (patient's responsibility) Excluded provider Patient deceased Provider lacked required license or certification

Service inconsistent with physician order or treatment plan Service not ordered or authorized Order or service not sufficiently documented as required by regulation or policy Prescriptions, Treatment Plans, Progress Notes Missing signatures

35 ENFORCEMENT PPACA 6402(d)(3) “ENFORCEMENT” — Any overpayment retained by a person after the deadline for reporting and returning the overpayment under paragraph (2) is an obligation (as defined in section 3729(b)(3) of title 31, United States Code) for purposes of section 3729 of such title. (False Claims Act)

36 CONSEQUENCES False Claims Act imposes liability for a person who “knowingly conceals or knowingly and improperly avoids or decreases an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the Government” new 31 U.S.C. 3729(a)(1) (G) added by FERA “knowingly” includes reckless disregard, deliberate ignorance PPACA makes clear that claims made for items or services resulting from a violation of the anti-kickback statute are false claims OMIG View: an overpayment which is timely reported and explained will not give rise to FCA liability even if the provider is unable to repay it within 60 days, unless there is evidence of improper “avoidance”

Knowing of an overpayment and failing to report and return within 60 days: $10,000 for each item or service overpaid Knowingly making a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim: $50,000 for each false record or statement False statements, or omissions or misrepresentations on an application for enrollment: $50,000 Failure to grant timely access for purposes of audit, investigation or evaluation: $15,000 per day Treble damages

Where “the State has failed to suspend payments under the plan during any period when there is pending an investigation of a credible allegation of fraud as determined by the State unless the State determines in accordance with [HHS] regulations there is good cause not to suspend such payments” CMS may recover payments from State

State Medicaid agencies may withhold payments based on “reliable evidence” of fraud or willful misrepresentation Notice must state that payments are being withheld in accordance with this section New York has further authority

OMIG just needs “reliable information” that a provider is involved in fraud, abuse or an unacceptable practice Reliable Information Audit Utilization review identifies unacceptable practice or significant overpayments State licensing board or agency Prosecutorial agency (MFCU)

41 Excluded Persons Cannot work in a program funded by Medicaid (overstatement, but best guide) Fee or cost report Crime by the excluded person Could be crime by the employer Billing for services delivered by excluded person subject to recoupment OMIG maintains list on website Check every thirty days

“No payment will be made by Medicare, Medicaid or any of the other federal health care programs for any item or service furnished by an excluded individual or entity, or at the medical direction or on the prescription of a physician or other authorized individual who is excluded when the person furnishing such item or service knew or had reason to know of the exclusion.” 42 CFR (b)

18 NYCRR Sanctions effect (continued): (b) No payment will be made for medical care, services or supplies ordered or prescribed by any person while that person is excluded, nor for any medical care, services or supplies ordered or prescribed in violation of any condition of participation in the program. (c) A person who is excluded from the program cannot be involved in any activity relating to furnishing medical care, services or supplies to recipients of medical assistance for which claims are submitted to the program, or relating to claiming or receiving payment for medical care, services or supplies during the period. (d) Providers reimbursed on a cost-related basis may not claim as allowable costs any amounts paid or credited to any person who is excluded from the program or who is in violation of any condition of participation in the program. (e) Providers reimbursed on a fee-for-services basis may not submit any claim and cannot be reimbursed for any medical care, services or supplies furnished by any person who is excluded from the program or which are furnished in violation of any condition of participation in the program.

44 SCREENING DOH Medicaid Update April 2010 Vol. 26, No. 6
Providers have an obligation to screen employees, prospective employees, and contractors, both individuals and entities, to determine if they have been excluded or terminated from participation in federal health care programs or New York Medicaid

45 SCREENING LISTS List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) (OIG)
List of Parties Excluded From Federal Procurement and Nonprocurement Programs Restricted, Terminated or Excluded Individuals or Entities

46 IMPACT ON EMPLOYERS Potential Liability for Employing or Contracting with Excluded Individuals/Entities $10,000 civil monetary penalty for each item/service claimed Plus treble damages = amount claimed for each item/service Possible exclusion for the provider-employer Must apply for reinstatement “Knows or Should Know” of the Employee’s Exclusion Check the Exclusion Lists! OMIG: potentially amounts to a false claim under FCA Separate basis for administrative sanctions or exclusion

Check 3 exclusion lists for each new hire Check 3 exclusion lists for contractors Check 3 exclusion lists for referral sources Check 3 exclusion lists once each month for updates Require contractors to conduct similar checks on their employees and contractors Report each verified hit on current employees and current contractors from any of three exclusion lists to OMIG through disclosure protocol

MEDICAID - $500,000+ An effective plan PPACA WILL REQUIRE . . .

49 COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS An effective compliance program in New York will satisfy PPACA OMIG Compliance Program 8 Elements (18 NYCRR Part 521)

50 COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS Written policies and procedures that describe compliance expectations, as embodied in a code of conduct, implement the operation of the Program, and provide guidance on dealing with potential compliance issues. 2) Designation of a compliance officer as the person vested with day-to-day operation of the Program.

51 COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS 3) Training and education on compliance issues, expectations, and Program operation. 4) Establishment of communication lines to the compliance officer that are accessible to allow compliance issues to be reported.

52 COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS 5) Fair and firmly enforced disciplinary policies, to encourage good faith participation in the Program, and to outline sanctions for: Failing to report suspected problems; Participating in, encouraging, directing, facilitating, or permitting non-compliant behavior.

53 COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS 6) Systems for routine identification of compliance risk areas for self-evaluation of such risk areas, including internal audits and, as appropriate, external audits. 7) Implementation of systems for responding to, investigating and correcting compliance issues, and for reporting and refunding overpayments.

54 COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS 8) Non-intimidation and non-retaliation for good faith participation in the Program Reporting and investigating potential compliance issues Participating in self-evaluations, audits, and remedial actions

55 Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
Part of the Attorney General’s office Similar, but different authorities to OMIG Has civil and criminal authorities Can exercise OMIG audit authorities Makes referrals to OMIG for withholds, sanctions and penalties

56 Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
Executive Law § 63(12) Powerful enforcement tool “Repeated fraudulent or illegal acts” “Persistent fraud or illegality” Injunctions, restitution, damages Civil subpoena authority – forced testimony Doesn’t preclude criminal prosecution

57 Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
Criminal Charges Grand Larceny Civil Recovery Either or both Conduct during investigation can tip the balance

58 Self-incrimination Right to remain silent
Everything you say can be used against you Medicaid providers have a duty to cooperate

59 Stop talking The investigator is not your friend Call your attorney
Only speak with your attorney present Everyone you speak to is a potential witness The walls have ears

60 Record Preservation Records must be preserved Electronic records, too
Don’t alter records Don’t recreate missing records

61 The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and Other Friends
OMG! OMIG! The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and Other Friends Hermes Fernandez Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC (518)

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