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A Pause in PEPPER and CBRs

Published on 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report or PEPPER is one resource available to providers to help guide your selection of meaningful review targets for audits. According to the PEPPER User’s Guide for Short-Term Acute Care, this report “contains a single hospital’s claims data statistics for Medicare-Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs) and discharges at risk for improper payment due to billing, coding, and/or admission necessity issues…All of the data tables, graphs, and reports in PEPPER were designed to assist the hospital in identifying potential overpayments as well as potential underpayments.”

If you attempted to access the PEPPER Resources website in December 2023, you were directed to a blank page. This week I once again checked this website and the following notice has been posted:

“Updates to the Program for Comparative Billing Reports (CBRs) and Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPERs) Coming Soon

There will be a temporary pause in distributing CBRs and PEPPERs as CMS works to improve and update the program and reporting system. This pause will remain in effect through the fall of 2024. We recognized the importance of these reports to your practice. Therefore, during this time, CMS will be working diligently to enhance the quality and accessibility of the reports. In fulfilling this commitment, your feedback is requested. In the near future, CMS will release a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain information from you, the provider community, about how the program can better serve you.

Please visit CBR and PEPPER website for periodic updates. If you have further questions please send them to”

About CBRs

In addition to PEPPERs, CMS has paused CBRs. According to the CMS webpage Data Analysis Support and Tracking, “a Comparative Billing Report (CBR) provides comparative billing data to an individual health care provider. CBR’s contain actual data-driven tables and graphs with an explanation of findings that compare provider’s billing and payment patterns to those of their peers on both a national and state level. Graphic presentations contained in these reports help to communicate a provider’s billing pattern more clearly. CBR study topic(s) are selected because they are prone to improper payments. For additional information and examples of CBRs, you can access the eGlobalTech website at” Note, this website currently can’t be reached.
Article Author: Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Protection Assessment Tool.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.