By Consumers For Quality Care, on February 23, 2022
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General has announced it will conduct a nationwide audit of hospitals that received federal COVID-19 relief payments, according to Healthcare Dive. The goal of the audit is to determine if hospitals complied with a requirement preventing surprise billing of COVID-19 patients.
This audit comes just weeks after a federal ban on most surprise medical bills went into effect. The No Surprises Act bans surprise bills for people with private insurance for emergency and other care and also prohibits unexpected bills from certain out-of-network providers if a patient seeks care at an in-network hospital.
OIG’s audit will focus on surprise billing related to the COVID-19 pandemic and look at how bills were calculated for out-of-network patients admitted for COVID-19 treatment. The audit will also review supporting documentation for compliance and assess procedural controls and monitoring to ensure compliance.
CQC applauds regulators for continuing to monitor surprise billing as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and urges consumers to always examine a bill before paying it.