Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) is on the horizon for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs). Units and free standing facilities have been notified by nih.gov that PEPPER is soon on its way and its nothing to sneeze at. These are continuous initiatives to engage facilities in managing through data transparency and monitoring activity against norms to identify high risk issues whether they are payment or case management related. Data transparency for IRFs grows closer and closer.
Per the PEPPER website, ”PEPPER provides hospital-specific Medicare data statistics for discharges vulnerable to improper payments. PEPPER can support a hospital or facility’s compliance efforts by identifying where it is an outlier for these risk areas. This data can help identify both potential overpayments as well as potential underpayments.” Look for the this icon on the PEPPER website:
When will this all occur? September 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will make available free hospital-specific comparative data reports for IRFs nationwide. Distinct part units will receive information electronically, free standing IRFs will receive hard copy reports by FedEx addressed to their CEO/Administrator and can expect those sometime around September 22, 2011, per the email sent out by nih.gov.
When information and education are provided such as this, there is usually a follow up to the outliers that gain attention within the reports. Sign up for the training provided at the website (enrollment is open to IRF staff only.)
Release and training are just a day apart. Visit the website and be certain you know how to interpret your reports. Identify areas of risk and complete a self assessment for managing change toward improvements. Self awareness and management toward change is essential to reducing risk associated with highly visible outliers.