In filing suit against the Department of Health and Human Services for refusing to make Medicare payments on care that hospitals contend is proper, the American Hospital Association has launched an assault on the Recovery Audit Contractors program.

In the suit, filed Nov. 1 in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia and available here, the AHA charges that RACs have taken upon themselves, and not “the expert judgment of the attending physician,” to judge the medical necessity of a hospitalization, often for treatments months or years old.

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