As Oregon’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), Acumentra Health participates in the Medicare Beneficiary Protection Program (MBPP) to help protect the safety and health of Medicare beneficiaries and the integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund.
Required activities under the program include
- responding to beneficiary quality-of-care complaints
- reviewing appeals of notices of Medicare noncoverage
- reviewing hospital requests for higher-weighted DRGs
- providing information and resources for QIO Hospital Liaisons
- providing information and resources for physician reviewers
Acumentra Health also reviews potential violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) by Medicare hospitals, on referral from CMS.
If a Medicare beneficiary (including fee-for-service beneficiaries and Medicare Advantage enrollees) or representative has a concern about the clinical quality of care, especially if the beneficiary feels the care was not adequate or appropriate, the beneficiary may contact Acumentra Health and initiate a complaint. Acumentra Health reviews all written quality-of-care complaints from Medicare beneficiaries or their designated representatives.
More information about Medicare beneficiary rights is available in our beneficiary section, or in the Medicare & You publication on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf.
If Acumentra Health reviewers do not identify significant quality-of-care concerns but see a possible miscommunication or misperception regarding medical care, a case may be recommended for immediate advocacy, a form of alternative dispute resolution.
Notices of Medicare noncoverage
The purpose of the Acumentra Health review is to ensure that the notice is correct, and that beneficiaries or managed care enrollees are not discharged prematurely from care or have services discontinued prematurely. An actively practicing, board-certified physician makes the review determinations.
Hospital Discharge Appeal Notices
CMS requires hospitals to give the Important Message from Medicare to Medicare beneficiaries who are admitted as an inpatient. This notice explains the beneficiary’s right to appeal to the QIO if he or she disagrees with the hospital’s decision for discharge.
Furthermore, beneficiaries may appeal a hospital’s decision not to admit them as an inpatient. If so, the hospital is required to give them a Pre-Admission or Admission Hospital-Issued Notice of Non-Coverage (HINN).
Notice of Noncoverage—Original Medicare (BIPA Appeal)
When a skilled nursing facility (SNF), home health agency (HHA), hospice, or a hospital providing swing bed services issues a Notice of Medicare Provider Non-Coverage [medicare/review/gripa.php] to a beneficiary with Original Medicare, the beneficiary or representative may request an “expedited appeal.” A healthcare provider may also appeal on behalf of a beneficiary.
Notice of Noncoverage—Managed Care (Grijalva Appeal)
When a Medicare Advantage plan issues a Notice of Medicare Non-Coverage for care in a SNF or by a home health agency, a Medicare beneficiary or representative may request a “fast-track appeal.” A healthcare provider may also appeal on behalf of a beneficiary.
Requests for higher-weighted DRGs
When a hospital requests a higher Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) payment from Medicare, Acumentra Health is required to perform a full case review.
QIO Hospital Liaison resources
QIO Hospital Liaisons are the link between Oregon hospitals and Acumentra Health.
Coding and documentation resources
Physician review of medical records
Physician reviewers conduct medical record review to determine whether the care received was medically necessary and appropriate. Reviews may include utilization, coding, or quality of care issues. The reviewer is generally from the same specialty as the physician that provided the care in question. This peer review is an important component of the quality-of-care oversight provided by Medicare quality improvement organizations and external quality review organizations such as Acumentra Health.
Acumentra Health welcomes new physician reviewers in all specialties.