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Medicare Targeted Probe & Educate, Short Stay & Higher Weighted DRG Reviews to Resume

Published on 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

CMS Resumes Targeted Probe & Educate Program

In response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), CMS suspended medical review activities on March 30, 2020. In August 2020, Recovery Auditors, Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program, and Medicare Administrative Contractor post-payment reviews were resumed. At that time, the Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE) program remained on hold.

On May 8, 2019, CMS put a temporary hold on SSRs and HWDRG reviews as they planned to procure a new contractor to review both types of reviews on a national basis. The expectation was to award the contract by the 3rd quarter of calendar year 2019.

According to a CMS TPE Q&A document (link), when performing medical review as a part of this program, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs):

  • Focus on specific providers/suppliers who, through data analysis, have been identified as varying significantly from their peers,
  • Typically review 20-40 claims per provider/supplier, per item or service (round),
  • Provide individualized education based on review results after a round, and
  • Perform up to three rounds of reviews per item or service.

The CMS announced in the Thursday August 12, 2021, edition of MLN Connects (link) that the TPE Program is restarting “to help educate providers and reduce future denials and appeals.”

Livanta to Begin Short Stay Reviews and Higher Weighted DRG Reviews

Kepro and Livanta are the two Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIOs) that serve all regions across the nation. The BFCC-QIO scope of work, among other things includes performing certain types of medical record reviews. Two specific reviews are Short Stay Reviews (SSRs) and Higher Weight Diagnosis-Related Group (HWDRG) review.

It wasn’t until April of 2021, that Livanta announced they had been awarded this contract. On August 11, 2021, Livanta released a Provider Bulletin (link) to announce the official start of claims reviews. The bulletin includes information on the following topics:

  • What Hospitals Can Expect,
  • Hospital Inpatient Claim Review Types,
  • HWDRG Review Process,
  • SSR Process, and
  • Questions and Education.

The review process for each type of medical review includes the timing of when they will begin requesting records. For HWDRG reviews, they expected to send the first medical record request the week of August 16th. For SSRs, Livanta anticipated sending the first individual medical record requests on or about the week of September 20, 2021. Note, record requests will be sent to your Medical Record point of contact via fax when possible or U.S. mail if fax is not possible. A hospital sample will consist of 30 claims reviewed within a rolling 3-month period and records must be submitted electronically.

I encourage you to visit Livanta’s webpage (link), read the Provider Bulletin and share this information with appropriate staff at your facility.

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.