Agency success stories in reducing improper payments

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Danny Werfel, former controller of the Office of Management and Budget and director at the Boston Consulting Group, details how agencies can reduce improper payments, and how “smart bureaucracy” could prevent errors.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that this year’s improper payment rate is 8.12%, down from about 9.5% the year prior. This year’s number marks the lowest amount of improper payments since 2010. Danny Werfel, former controller of the Office of Management and Budget and director at the Boston Consulting Group, says that other agencies can use similar strategies to the ones that CMS employed.

 

“You hear about education, training, really understanding what the rules are, [that’s] part of it… Authorization, more activities to determine eligibility. The real tension with improper payments has always been this,” Werfel said. “The more upfront requirements you put in place, you can slow the process down and really understand and better determine eligibility, but by doing that you are creating more bureaucracy and slowing the process down. Finding and balancing that tension. Nobody wants more bureaucracy, but some of that bureaucracy… can prevent errors.”