Audit & Appeal Fairness, Integrity, and Reforms in Medicare (AFIRM) Act of 2015 Passes Finance Committee with Only One Dissent
Committee Chariman Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) asked if anyone wanted a role-call vote recorded on the approved language for the Chairman’s Markup of this new bill, during the Senate Finance Committee Open Executive Session to consider the Audit & Appeal Fairness, Integrity, and Reforms in Medicare (AFIRM) Act of 2015, on June 3, 2015. No one asked for it, so the Chairman asked for a voice vote. The committee approved the bill on a voice vote, and only a single “No” can be heard on the recording.
Senators Speak Frankly About the RACs
Who spoke the single No is not discernible, from the video. But what is discernible is a series of no less than 12 “slams” by the Senators, on CMS Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs).
In another life, I used to attend business meetings where the VPs and Directors kept track of who made the best or most “slams” on each other. It was fun, but not nearly as much fun as hearing U.S. Senators actually speak their minds about the insanity that we all face on a daily basis, courtesy of CMS policies and procedures.
See some of the more colorful comments and hear the Senators speak their minds about it all in some short video clips culled from the full video, below.
Too Many Appeals for the System
Too Many Denials Reversed
What AFIRM Will Do If Enacted
Three Ways AFIRM Helps
RACs Compared to “Water Torture”
There is Still Need to Fix Underlying Issues
The Hot Mess That’s Killing Rural Hospitals
RACs Likened to “The Walking Dead”
Ultimately, then, the bill passed and will be recommended to the full Senate for debate and vote. When that will happen exactly is debatable.
For convenience, we created our own “Modified Description of the Chairman’s Mark,” where we attempted to combine the published modifications of the Chairman’s Mark as submitted to the committee that day, which is the draft used to create the preliminary language for the new bill.