To describe the new Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud, and abuse provisions of the Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) and Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), the preexisting law modified by H.R. 3590 and H.R. 4872, and applicable existing and proposed regulations.
Waste, fraud, and abuse are substantial threats to the efficiency of the health care system. To combat these activities, the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services promulgate and enforce guidelines governing the proper assessment and billing for Medicare and Medicaid services. These guidelines have a number of provisions that can catch even well-intentioned providers off guard, resulting in substantial fines. H.R. 3590 and H.R. 4872 augment preexisting waste, fraud, and abuse laws and regulations. This article reviews the new waste, fraud, and abuse laws and regulations to apprise pharmacists of the substantial changes affecting their practice.
H.R. 3590 and H.R. 4872 modify screening requirements for providers; modify liability and penalties for the antikickback statute, federal False Claims Act, remuneration, and Stark Law; and create or extend auditing and management programs. Properly navigating these changes will be important in keeping pharmacies in compliance.