Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Inspector General -- AUDIT

"Ineligible Medicare Payments to Skilled Nursing Facilities Under the Administrative Responsibility of Empire HealthChoice, Inc.," (A-05-03-00022)

May 8, 2003

Complete Text of Report is available in PDF format (465 kb). Copies can also be obtained by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 202-619-1343.


The objective of this audit was to determine the extent of ineligible Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) payments contained in our database of payments made under the administrative responsibility of Empire HealthChoice, Inc. (Empire).  Our review of the database estimated that $9.7 million of ineligible SNF payments were made under the administrative responsibility of Empire during calendar years 1997 through 2001.  The overpayments occurred because of the absence of an automated cross-check, within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Common Working File and the Fiscal Intermediary’s claims processing systems, verifying that a three consecutive day inpatient hospital stay occurred prior to SNF admission.