In fiscal year 2006, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated it spent over $51 billion on the Medicare Advantage program, which serves as an alternative to the traditional feefor- service program. Under the Medicare Advantage program, CMS approves private companies to offer health plan options to Medicare enrollees that include all Medicare-covered services. Many plans also provide supplemental benefits. The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 requires CMS to annually audit the financial records supporting the submissions (i.e., adjusted community rate proposals (ACRP) or bids) of at least onethird of participating organizations. BBA also requires that GAO monitor the audits. This testimony provides information on (1) the ACRP and bid process and related audit requirement, (2) CMS' efforts related to complying with the audit requirement, and (3) factors that cause CMS' audit process to be of limited value.
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