This is a case in which the extrapolation was thrown out.
Here, the Medicare Appeals Council agreed with the “determination that the sampling was sufficiently flawed to preclude calculation of an overpayment by extrapolation”.
Although the appellant had made a number of arguments attacking the statistical extrapolation, the MAC relied on two errors in throwing out the extrapolation:
“The errors are: 1) the PSC provided the independent statistical expert with sample data which assigned some claims to the wrong stratum; and 2) the PSC provided the independent expert with a second CD containing an Excel set of sample data with significant discrepancies from the first set of data, and the PSC was unable to clarify the discrepancies, to identify which set of data was applicable, or to explain the significance of the second set of data.”
This provides at least three check points when providing litigation support to a health care provider:
First, always have the statistical expert carefully check that all claims in any strata strictly fit the definition of the strata;
Second, look for any instance in which inconsistent records have been handed over by the contractor; and
Third, demand detailed explanations from the contractor for each and every inconsistency found in the data.
Unfortunately, it has been our experience at Barraclough that these arguments do not always result in an extrapolation being thrown out. Rulings are inconsistent with each other – sometimes this argument works, sometimes it does not.