ZPIC Medicare

All posts tagged ZPIC Medicare

Potential Class Action Targeting ZPIC Dismissed: What This Means

by admin on April 30, 2018 No comments

medicare payment suspensionBy: Matt Fischer

A recent lawsuit seeking class action status that targeted Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC), AdvanceMed along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been dismissed.  The plaintiff, an Illinois home health agency (HHA), filed suit in federal court requesting a writ of mandamus (i.e. an order directing a party to perform a specific act) and damages based on claims of fraud and non-compliance with Medicare’s regulations.  With many wanting an overhaul with regards to ZPIC authority, this case has been watched closely.  What does this decision mean going forward?  Consequently, this decision solidifies the formidable hurdle and requirement to exhaust all administrative remedies before challenging a ZPIC in court.

What occurred in this case is not uncommon.  AdvanceMed conducted a review of a number of patient charts which led to a suspension of Medicare payment “based on reliable information that an overpayment exists or that the payments to be made may not be correct.”  In response to the suspension notice, the HHA submitted a rebuttal statement with additional supporting documentation.  The ZPIC later informed the HHA that the documentation had been reviewed and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decided to continue the suspension.  In subsequent discussions between the parties, an AdvanceMed representative surprising stated that it was not their policy to review rebuttals nor was it obligated to review the additional documentation.  The representative further indicated that CMS concurred with their position.  As a result, the HHA filed a lawsuit.     

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ZPIC Audit Avoidance for Home Health Providers

by admin on November 30, 2017 No comments

zpic audit medicareBy: Matthew Fischer

Medicare beneficiaries are generally entitled to coverage for care received by a home health agency.  However, home health providers can expose themselves to large overpayment demands from Zone Program Integrity Contractors (ZPIC audit) if the face-to-face (FTF) encounter requirements for home health certification are not strictly followed.  On an increasing basis, FTF encounters have been the target of ZPIC review.  Providers view this position as an effort to use home health agencies to police the industry.  On the other hand, contractors see this as part of their mission to identify cases of suspected fraud and recoup inappropriate payments.  Thus, it is imperative that home health providers fully understand the requirements in order to withstand contractor scrutiny.

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