(a) General rules - Medicare payments to providers and suppliers, as authorized under this subchapter (excluding payments to beneficiaries), may be one of the following:
(1) Suspended, in whole or in part, by CMS or a Medicare contractor if CMS or the Medicare contractor possesses reliable information that an overpayment exists or that the payments to be made may not be correct, although additional information may be needed for a determination.
(2) In cases of suspected fraud, suspended, in whole or in part, by CMS or a Medicare contractor if CMS or the Medicare contractor has consulted with the OIG, and, as appropriate, the Department of Justice, and determined that a credible allegation of fraud exists against a provider or supplier, unless there is good cause not to suspend payments.
(3) Offset or recouped, in whole or in part, by a Medicare contractor if the Medicare contractor or CMS has determined that the provider or supplier to whom payments are to be made has been overpaid.
(4) Suspended, in whole or in part, by CMS or a Medicare contractor if the provider or supplier has been subject to a Medicaid payment suspension under § 455.23(a)(1) of this chapter.
(b) Good cause exceptions applicable to payment suspensions.
(1) CMS may find that good cause exists not to suspend payments or not to continue to suspend payments to an individual or entity against which there are credible allegations of fraud if -
(i) OIG or other law enforcement agency has specifically requested that a payment suspension not be imposed because such a payment suspension may compromise or jeopardize an investigation;
(ii) It is determined that beneficiary access to items or services would be so jeopardized by a payment suspension in whole or part as to cause a danger to life or health;
(iii) It is determined that other available remedies implemented by CMS or a Medicare contractor more effectively or quickly protect Medicare funds than would implementing a payment suspension; or
(iv) CMS determines that a payment suspension or a continuation of a payment suspension is not in the best interests of the Medicare program.
(2) Every 180 days after the initiation of a suspension of payments based on credible allegations of fraud, CMS will -
(i) Evaluate whether there is good cause to not continue such suspension under this section; and
(ii) Request a certification from the OIG or other law enforcement agency that the matter continues to be under investigation warranting continuation of the suspension.
(3) Good cause not to continue to suspend payments to an individual or entity against which there are credible allegations of fraud must be deemed to exist if a payment suspension has been in effect for 18 months and there has not been a resolution of the investigation, except CMS may extend a payment suspension beyond that point if -
(i) The case has been referred to, and is being considered by, the OIG for administrative action (for example, civil money penalties); or such administrative action is pending or
(ii) The Department of Justice submits a written request to CMS that the suspension of payments be continued based on the ongoing investigation and anticipated filing of criminal or civil action or both or based on a pending criminal or civil action or both. At a minimum, the request must include the following:
(A) Identification of the entity under suspension.
(B) The amount of time needed for continued suspension in order to conclude the criminal or civil proceeding or both.
(C) A statement of why or how criminal or civil action or both may be affected if the requested extension is not granted.
(c) Steps necessary for suspension of payment, offset, and recoupment.
(2) The Medicare contractor offsets or recoups payments only after it has complied with the procedural requirements set forth at § 405.373.
(d) Suspension of payment in the case of unfiled cost reports.
(1) If a provider has failed to timely file an acceptable cost report, payment to the provider is immediately suspended in whole or in part until a cost report is filed and determined by the Medicare contractor to be acceptable.
(e) Suspension of payment in the case of unfiled hospice cap determination reports.
(1) If a provider has failed to timely file an acceptable hospice cap determination report, payment to the provider is immediately suspended in whole or in part until a cap determination report is filed and determined by the Medicare contractor to be acceptable.