69% of all hospitals spent more than $10,000 managing RAC activities

Nearly half of hospitals with 250 or more beds spent more than $50,000 in January through March to manage the process in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Recovery Audit Contractors comb through medical records seeking improper payments. Almost half of hospitals also reported increased administrative costs and a quarter of hospitals employed additional staff to manage the RAC burden. But according to data from the American Hospital Association's RACTrac survey from the first quarter of 2014, 57 percent of records reviewed by RACs didn't contain an overpayment.

Hospitals reported appealing half of all RAC denials and had a 66 percent success rate. However, 69 percent of appealed claims are still sitting in the appeals process.

For the latest RACTrac findings or to participate in the survey, go to www.aha.org/advocacy-issues/rac/ractrac.shtml.

In Our Next Issue: EHR Incentives

Trustee will spotlight AHA data on hospitals and systems' progress in meeting meaningful use criteria.