Rep. Jim Renacci’s (OH-16) Better Efficiency and Administrative Simplification Act today was approved by the House Ways & Means Committee as part of a bipartisan legislative package designed to eradicate Medicare fraud, the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act (PIMA). Introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), PIMA is a combination of proposals offered by members of the Ways & Means Committee that also addresses waste and abuse in the Medicare program.
“I was pleased the Better Efficiency and Administrative Simplification Act was included in PIMA and approved by the Ways & Means Committee,” said Renacci. “The idea for this legislation came straight from a constituent in North Canton who expressed concern over government waste and the Medicare program’s failure to provide a paperless option. This bill fixes that.”
The Better Efficiency and Administrative Simplification Act will give the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the authority to allow, but not require, beneficiaries to receive their Medicare Summary Notices more frequently and to expand the email option to other beneficiary documents. By increasing the frequency of these notices, beneficiaries are able to catch fraudulent billing right away, as opposed to months after the services have been received. The sooner beneficiaries can report incorrect billing, the sooner the government can stop the payments from going out.
Renacci added, “The passage of PIMA will be a significant step toward preserving an important program that so many seniors in Ohio’s 16th District and across the country rely on.”
Below are highlighted provisions included in PIMA:
- Removes Social Security numbers from Medicare beneficiary cards.
- Increases outreach and education for providers by Medicare contractors.
- Expands who can document the face-to-face encounter required for Medicare durable medical equipment prescriptions to include nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as allowed by state law.
- Require that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary issue guidance on the application of the “Common Rule,” which provides protection for individuals involved in research.
- Requires the HHS Secretary to issue a report describing how a permanent physician-hospital gainsharing program can best be established.
- Instructs the HHS Secretary to require each home health agency to obtain a surety bond in the amount of no less than $50,000 as a condition of participation in the Medicare program.
A section-by-section of the bill can be viewed here. Renacci’s provisions are detailed in sections 9 and 10.