Medicare Overpayments/Underpayments More Costly in 4th Qtr

Providers and suppliers of health care services and supplies to Medicare Parts A and B beneficiaries will pay contractors more in interest for unrecouped overpayments and delinquent unrecouped underpayments in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The quarterly update to the interest rate for Medicare overpayments and underpayments is 11 percent, effective July 18 — up just over one-tenth of a percentage point since third quarter 2012 (April 18 – July 17).

According to Medicare Internet-only Manual (IOM), pub. 100-06, chapter 4, section 30, interest is generally assessed at the prevailing rate specified by the secretary of the treasury unless the overpayment is recouped or the underpayment is paid within 30 days of a final determination. If the provider defaults on an extended repayment agreement, the contractor may charge interest on the debt balance at the prevailing rate in effect on the date of the default, if it’s in their favor.

Source: the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) transmittal 211

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