As reported here at RACmonitor e-news, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) presented the Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2013 in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. Here’s back story by way of a highly placed source at AHIMA.
It turns out that Graves and Schiff, who had previously introduced their bill in October 2012 only to see it die in committee in the closing days of the 112 Congress, were poised to reintroduce the bill last Friday, March 15. Concurrently, AHIMA launched its annual Health Information Professional Week. Evidently, Graves and Schiff, standing by on Friday to present their new bill before the AHIMA delegates—a number estimated by AHIMA to be 200—had to cancel. The reason: CMS had just issued its Administrative Ruling regarding Part B reimbursement, and the lawmakers had to change the language in their bill before introducing it. After a legal review of the new wording, the bill was ready for its big coming out. And Tuesday would be that day—a highlight of what AHIMA members call “Hill Week.” So, gathered as they were in the Sam Rayburn Building, the delegates patiently listened as Schiff vamped, waiting for his co-sponsor to show up to make their joint presentation. Graves, however, was stuck in traffic on his way to catch up with Schiff, who was now reading—word by word—the bill that both were to introduce. Twenty-five minutes later, Graves was declared a no-show. Schiff left to drop the bill with House clerk.
Unfazed, AHIMA released a news release on the bill immediately following Schiff’s presentation to the delegates, and the rest is history.