June 2001 Bulletin

Some Medicare rules too complex, says IG

Are Medicare program rules and requirements too difficult to understand? The question was posed and answered in the affirmative in early April by Michael Mangano, Acting Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

"In some cases our audits and evaluations do indicate that some rules are unnecessarily complex and burdensome," he told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and Oversight and Investigations. "In such cases, we make recommendations for simplification. However, our recent Medicare improper payment audit indicated that providers are doing a very good job of negotiating their way through Medicare rules and procedures, and we estimate that 93 percent of all Medicare payments to health care providers are free of error."

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