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Feud between hospitals, Medicare contractors explodes over fraud bill

The Hill, April 4, 2013
The longstanding feud between hospitals and Medicare contractors is intensifying as a House bill proposes new restrictions on anti-fraud efforts in Medicare. Recovery audit contractors (RACs), professionals who cut mistaken or fraudulent payments from the Medicare program, are pushing back against the bipartisan Medicare Audit Improvement Act, arguing the government will forfeit billions of taxpayer dollars in improper healthcare payments if hospitals are given more leeway. The stakes are high this year as Washington seeks to pare back waste, fraud and abuse. RACs charge that the new bill from Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) will severely undercut their efforts to secure Medicare's finances at a time when improper payments are rife within the program.