OIG tags Arkansas hospital for incorrect billing

The University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock failed to comply with Medicare billing requirements for 16 of 130 inpatient claims reviewed by HHS' Office of Inspector General for the audit period of Jan. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2104, according to a recent OIG report.

The 16 claims that did not comply with Medicare billing requirements resulted in the hospital receiving $197,172 in overpayments, according to the OIG.

Extrapolating from the sample results, the OIG estimated University of Arkansas Sciences Medical Center received at least $278,000 in overpayments from Medicare during the audit period.

Based on its findings, the OIG recommended the hospital refund $278,000 to the Medicare contractor, to which CMS outsources the processing and payment of claims submitted by hospitals. The OIG also recommended the hospital exercise reasonable diligence to identify and return any additional overpayments outside of the audit period and strengthen controls to ensure full compliance with Medicare requirements.

In written comments, University of Arkansas Sciences Medical Center agreed nine of the 16 claims identified by the OIG contained billing errors. The hospital reserved the right to appeal the OIG's determinations and the overpayment estimates for the remaining seven claims.

After reviewing the hospital's comments, the OIG maintained its findings and recommendations 

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