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Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Inspector General -- AUDIT

"Review of Hospice Beneficiary Eligibility At Hospicio Del Oeste, Inc.," (A-02-94-01029)

June 13, 1995


Complete Text of Report is available in PDF format (1.37 MB). Copies can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 202-619-1343.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

This review, which included a medical evaluation of the hospice's eligibility determinations for 127 beneficiaries, showed that 97 (77 percent) of those determinations were incorrect. As a result, the hospice claimed and improperly received Medicare reimbursements totaling about $1.1 million. Although we did not find a reasonable explanation for the hospice's high rate of error in eligibility determinations, we did determine that for the majority of the time period covered by our review, claims processing controls at the Medicare fiscal intermediary (FI) were not entirely adequate. We are recommending that the FI improve its claims processing controls through the incorporation of edits to detect and prevent payments on behalf of ineligible hospice beneficiaries. Regarding the $1.1 million of improper Medicare reimbursements, we have referred this matter to the OIG's Office of Investigations for additional investigation prior to the FI initiating recovery action on the identified overpayments.