The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses different types of contractors to conduct prepayment and postpayment reviews of Medicare fee- for-service claims at high risk for improper payments. Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) conduct prepayment and postpayment reviews; Recovery Auditors (RA) generally conduct postpayment reviews; and the Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC) conducts postpayment reviews as part of studies directed by CMS.
In 2013 and 2014, the RAs had an average cost per review to CMS of $158 and identified $14 in improper payments per dollar paid by CMS to the RAs. The SMRC had an average cost per review of $256 and identified $7 in improper payments per dollar paid by CMS. GAO was unable to determine the cost per review and amount of improper payments identified by the MACs per dollar paid by CMS because of unreliable data on costs and claim review savings.