GAO Report Criticizing CMS Suggests Heightened Enforcement Risks for Part D Sponsors

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The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently released a report, “Changes Needed to Improve CMS’s Recovery Audit Program Operations and Contractor Oversight,” criticizing CMS for failing to adequately oversee the Part D recovery audit contractor (“RAC”) program.  The report reflects growing concern around potential overpayments under the Part D program, mirroring the wave of interest that first arose several years ago regarding potential overpayments under the Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Program.  For a time, the MA program operated relatively unscathed by the groundswell of qui tam suits in the healthcare industry, but it is now in the midst of a widespread industry enforcement wave, and a number of plans and providers are facing FCA suits (as discussed here).  The GAO’s report could portend more Part D Sponsors being future targets of similar scrutiny.