A new survey of 418 provider organizations finds that responsibility for handling audits under the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor program falls to the compliance department for two-thirds of respondents.

The two-thirds market was consistent for organizations of various sizes, with the exception being those with 250 or fewer employees, which have the compliance department handling RACs nearly 75 percent of the time.

The Health Care Compliance Association conducted the survey with online polling firm Zoomerang. Eighteen percent of respondents came from organizations with up to 250 employees, 23 percent with 251-1,000 employees, 34 percent with 1,001-5,000 employees and 25 percent with more than 5,000 employees.

A majority of organizations dedicated one FTE to RAC activities. Fifty-seven percent of respondents with 250 or fewer employees had one FTE for RAC, as did 56 percent of those with 1,000 to 5,000 employees. Among organizations with at least 5,000 employees, 64 percent had three or fewer FTEs.

Half of all respondents indicated that compliance budgets have not increased during the current fiscal year despite the RAC program ramping up. In general, about a third saw the budget increase somewhat, with 10 percent having a significant increase, and about 5 percent reporting a decreased budget.

The largest difference between large and small provider organization respondents was their use of external consultants to assist with RAC audits. Seventy-seven percent of the smallest organizations had not used consultants, while just 40 percent of the largest refrained from contracting for consulting services. Survey results are available here. Registration is required.

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