June 7, 2010

Debate on 72-Hour Loophole Could Start Today

By

dennisjonesSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated that debate on H.R. 4213, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, could begin in the Senate as early as today, Tuesday, June 8.

 

The Senate bill, however, will be subject to amendment. There will be objections about the bill's contribution to the federal deficit. Some Senators are advocating that Medicaid payments to the states and the extension of health insurance for the unemployed, which were dropped in the House, be added back. Still other Senators want to negotiate less of a tax increase on venture capitalists and hedge fund managers than is in the House bill.

 

RAC Implication

 

Section 525 of the Act entitled, "Clarification of 3-Day Payment Window," leaves one RAC issue somewhat murky.  Since the Act prohibits The Secretary of Health and Human Services to  "reopen a claim, adjust a claim, or make a payment pursuant to any request for payment under title XVIII of the Social Security Act, submitted by an entity..." there is some discussion that this might not only prevent hospitals from unbundling services and rebilling distinct outpatient bills, but it might also ban RACs from recouping improper payments for wrongfully bundled serves as well.

 

That's not how I read it, however, we will all be anxious to see how the enforcing regulations are worded before we can be sure.  Meanwhile, Sen. Reid has indicated that there are other issues covered in this act that may be hotly debated, and if significant changes are made to the House version, the bill must go back to the House for reconciliation.

 

This will give providers who have made the decision to take the plunge and unbundle, recode, and rebill the hundreds or even thousands of affected claims a little more time to submit those claims before the window slams shut.

 

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About the Author

 

Dennis Jones is the director of compliance services for CBIZ KA Consulting. While Dennis is recognized as a leading RAC issues expert, his expertise covers a wide variety of topics including Managed Care, Uncompensated Care, Medicare and Medicaid Compliance, HIPAA, and Process Improvement. As a result he has spoken previously for NJHA, World Research Group, and various state chapters of HFMA, AAHAM, and AHIMA. Dennis is a past-president of the New Jersey Chapter of AAHAM and has held senior management positions in provider, IT vendor and reimbursement consultant arenas. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Health Planning and Administration and hopes to be able to afford season football tickets some day.

 

Contact the Author

drjones@CBIZ.com

 

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