The Rural Assistance Center reports that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has released its Fiscal Year 2014 Workplan which outlines the activities and reviews that it plans to undertake during the year, including activities that are currently underway. The OIG works to study and protect the integrity of HHS programs. Selected activities from the Workplan include:
- Critical Access Hospitals – Payment policy for swing bed services: This study is currently underway and will compare reimbursement of swing-bed services in CAHs to similar care provided through traditional skilled nursing facilities to determine if there are Medicare cost savings that could be achieved by changing reimbursement.
- Critical Access Hospitals – Beneficiary costs for outpatient services: This study is currently underway and will determine the costs that are paid by Medicare beneficiaries when receiving outpatient care at CAHs.
- Rural Health Clinics – Compliance with location requirements: This report is expected to be released during the FY2014 fiscal year and will look at the extent to which RHCs are in operation that do not meet the basic location requirements for the RHC program. It will also look at the amount of Medicare reimbursement that goes to such clinics.