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Followup Review on Inpatient Claims Subject to the Post-Acute-Care Transfer Policy

Medicare makes the full Medicare Severity Diagnosis-Related Group (MS-DRG) payment to a hospital that discharges an inpatient beneficiary "to home." Under the post-acute-care transfer policy, however, for certain qualifying MS-DRGs, Medicare pays a hospital that transfers an inpatient beneficiary to post-acute care a per diem rate for each day of the stay, not to exceed the full MS-DRG payment that would have been made if the inpatient beneficiary had been discharged to home. A prior OIG review identified Medicare overpayments to hospitals that did not comply with Medicare's post-acute-care transfer policy (42 CFR § 412.4(c)). We found that hospitals transferred patients to certain post-acute-care settings but improperly claimed the higher reimbursement associated with discharges "to home." Specifically, these hospitals used incorrect patient discharge status codes on their claims by indicating that their patients were discharged "to home" rather than transferred to a post-acute-care setting (e.g., home health services, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), non-Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospitals or hospital units). OIG's review found that CMS common working file (CWF) edits related to transfers to home health care, SNFs, and non-IPPS hospitals were not working properly. As a result, OIG recommended that CMS correct the CWF edits, ensure they are working properly, and recover the identified overpayments in accordance with its policies and procedures. CMS agreed with the recommendations and stated that it will update the CWF edits. This followup audit will determine whether CMS corrected the CWF edits and ensured they are working properly.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
January 2019 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Followup Review on Inpatient Claims Subject to the Post-Acute-Care Transfer Policy Office of Audit Services W-00-19-35820 2019