The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in late 2010 launched its nationwide Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors program, employing outside RAC firms to conduct regular reviews of billings from hospitals-and to a lesser extent physician practices-to identify and recoup overpayments for services rendered to Medicare patients as well as identify and correct underpayments.

By January 2012, the program had recouped Medicare payments totaling $3.1 billion, according to CMS.

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