Senate Finance Committee Approves AFIRM RAC Reform Bill, Slams CMS

Audit & Appeal Fairness, Integrity, and Reforms in Medicare (AFIRM) Act of 2015 Passes Finance Committee with Only One Dissent

All documents and a video are available at the Senate Finance Committee website. Click the image to visit the site.

All documents and a video are available at the Senate Finance Committee website. Click the image to visit the site.

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

We used to keep track like this in business meetings, a habit I wish the Senate would adopt...

We used to keep track like this in business meetings, a habit I wish the Senate would adopt…

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”


 

Conclusion

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.

Join our discussion live or watch the replay of the Finally Friday! show on June 19, as we hear a review of the AFIRM Act by former ALJ, Bob Soltis.

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