CMS overpaid hospitals $94M in EHR incentive payments, OIG says

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An audit from the HHS' Office of Inspector General found CMS incorrectly paid acute care hospitals $93.6 million in Medicare EHR incentive payments from 2013-17. 

The government pays acute care and critical access hospitals as an incentive to use EHRs. But from 2013-17, 50 out of 99 payments sampled by OIG were found to be incorrect. Based on the results, OIG estimated the government incorrectly paid less than 1 percent, or $93.6 million, out of the $10.8 billion in total incentive payments made during the audit period.

OIG concluded the incorrect payments occurred because Medicare contractors didn't properly review hospital-reported cost numbers that are used to calculate the payments. OIG also said CMS didn't include labor and delivery service in the incentive payment calculations, leading to inflated payments.

To view the full audit, click here.

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