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CMS Announces Contractor Audit Error

November 15, 2016
RE:          CMS Announces SMR Contractor Audit Error
BY:          David M. Werfel, Esq.
FROM:     American Ambulance Association (www.the-aaa.org)

Over the past week, we have learned that several ambulance suppliers have received letters from the CMS Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC), StrategicHealthSolutions, LLC. These letters indicate that the SMRC is conducting a medical review of their claims.

The letter contains a section that explains why the supplier has been selected for review. That section contains the following explanation:

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), signed into law on April 16, 2015, extended the therapy cap exception process through December 31, 2017, and modified the requirement for manual medical review for services over the $3,700 therapy thresholds. MACRA eliminated the requirement for manual medical review of all claims exceeding the therapy thresholds and instead allows a targeted review process. CMS has tasked the SMRC with performing post-payment medical review of Part B therapy claims for providers with a high percentage of patients receiving therapy beyond the threshold as compared to their peers for dates of service July 1, 2015 to the present. 

Our firm contacted the SMRC on behalf of a number of affected providers. On November 14, 2016, StrategicHealthSolutions responded to our inquiry. The SMRC indicated that its review was intended to be limited to suppliers of physical therapy services. Accordingly, the SMRC confirmed that these audit letters were sent to ambulance suppliers in error. 

The SMRC further indicated that ambulance suppliers that received this audit letter in error will be notified by telephone that they were selected in error. The SMRC will also be sending letters to affected ambulance suppliers notifying them of its error. These letters are expected to be mailed tomorrow, Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

If your organization received a letter from StrategicHealthSolutions, LLC, please know that this letter was sent in error. Your organization is not being audited by the Supplemental Medical Review Contractor. You can expect to receive a phone call and/or a letter in the next few days formally notifying you of the contractor’s error. That letter should formally withdraw the SMRC’s request for medical records. 

If you received a letter from the SMRC, and have any further questions, please feel free to contact Brian S. Werfel, Esq., the AAA’s Medicare Consultant. Brian can be reached via email at bwerfel@aol.com.

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