Consistent with the FEHBP regulations and contract, the FEHBP is due $181,907 for lost investment income, calculated through December 31, 2008, on the defective pricing finding in 2005. In addition, the contracting officer should recover lost investment income on amounts due for the period beginning January 1, 2009, until all defective pricing amounts have been returned to the FEHBP. ii AUDIT REPORT Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Comprehensive Medical Plan - Community-Rated PacifiCare of California Contract Number 1937 - Plan Code CY Cypress, California Report No. 1C-CY-00-08-012 Date: _____ _________ ________________________ Michael R. Esser Assistant Inspector General for Audits CONTENTS Page EXECUTIVE SUMMARY............................................................................................... i I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ..................................................................... 1 II. OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY .......................................................... 3 III. AUDIT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ...................................................... 5 Premium Rates ................................................................................................................ 5 1. Defective Pricing ......................................................................................................... 5 2. Lost Investment Income ............................................................................................... 7 IV. MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT ............................................................ 9 Exhibit A (Summary of Questioned Costs) Exhibit B (Defective Pricing Questioned Costs) Exhibit C (Lost Investment Income) Appendix (PacifiCare of California’s September 29, 2008, response to the draft report) I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Introduction We completed an audit of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) operations at PacifiCare of California (Plan). The audit covered contract years 2005 through 2007 and was conducted at the Plan’s office in Cypress, California. The audit was conducted pursuant to the provisions of Contract CS 1937; 5 U.S.C. Chapter 89; and 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Chapter 1, Part 890. The audit was performed by the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), as established by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended. Background The FEHBP was established by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (Public Law 86-382), enacted on September 28, 1959. The FEHBP was created to provide health insurance benefits for federal employees, annuitants, and dependents. The FEHBP is administered by OPM’s Center for Retirement and Insurance Services. The provisions of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act are implemented by OPM through regulations codified in Chapter 1, Part 890 of Title 5, CFR. Health insurance coverage is provided through contracts with health insurance carriers who provide service benefits, indemnity benefits, or comprehensive medical services. Community-rated carriers participating in the FEHBP are subject to various federal, state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. While most carriers are subject to state jurisdiction, many are further subject to the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 (Public Law 93- 222), as amended (i.e., many community-rated carriers are federally qualified). In addition, participation in the FEHBP subjects the carriers to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act and implementing regulations promulgated by OPM. The FEHBP should pay a market price rate, FEHBP Contracts/Members which is defined as the best rate offered to March 31 either of the two groups closest in size to 70,000 the FEHBP. In contracting with 60,000 community-rated carriers, OPM relies on 50,000 carrier compliance with appropriate laws and regulations and, consequently, does not 40,000 negotiate base rates. OPM negotiations 30,000 relate primarily to the level of coverage and 20,000 other unique features of the FEHBP. 10,000 The chart to the right shows the number of 0 2005 2006 2007 FEHBP contracts and members reported by Contracts 26,802 26,511 27,426 the Plan as of March 31 for each contract Members 62,791 61,882 64,605 year audited. 1 The Plan has participated in the FEHBP since 1983 and provides comprehensive medical services to FEHBP members throughout the State of California. The last full-scope audit covered contract years 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004. There were no questioned costs identified during the audit. The preliminary results of this audit were discussed with Plan officials at an exit conference. A draft report was also provided to the Plan for review and comment. The Plan’s comments were considered in the preparation of this final report and are included, as appropriate, as the Appendix. 2 II. OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY Objectives The primary objectives of the audit were to verify that the Plan offered market price rates to the FEHBP and to verify that the loadings to the FEHBP rates were reasonable and equitable. Additional tests were performed to determine whether the Plan was in compliance with the provisions of the laws and regulations governing the FEHBP. FEHBP Premiums Paid to Plan Scope We conducted this performance audit in accordance $225 with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the Millions $200 audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe $175 that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. $150 2005 2006 2007 Revenue $185.7 $188.8 $217.4 This performance audit covered contract years 2005 through 2007. During this period, the FEHBP paid approximately $591.9 million in premiums to the Plan. The premiums paid for each contract year audited are shown on the chart to the right. OIG audits of community-rated carriers are designed to test carrier compliance with the FEHBP contract, applicable laws and regulations, and OPM rate instructions. These audits are also designed to provide reasonable assurance of detecting errors, irregularities, and illegal acts. We obtained an understanding of the Plan’s internal control structure, but we did not use this information to determine the nature, timing, and extent of our audit procedures. However, the audit included such tests of the Plan’s rating system and such other auditing procedures considered necessary under the circumstances. Our review of internal controls was limited to the procedures the Plan has in place to ensure that: • The appropriate similarly sized subscriber groups (SSSG) were selected; • the rates charged to the FEHBP were the market price rates (i.e., equivalent to the best rate offered to SSSGs); and • the loadings to the FEHBP rates were reasonable and equitable. In conducting the audit, we relied to varying degrees on computer-generated billing, enrollment, and claims data provided by the Plan. We did not verify the reliability of the data generated by 3 the various information systems involved. However, nothing came to our attention during our audit testing utilizing the computer generated data to cause us to doubt its reliability. We believe that the available data was sufficient to achieve our audit objectives. Except as noted above, the audit was conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. The audit fieldwork was performed at the Plan’s office in Cypress, California, during February 2008. Additional audit work was completed at our offices in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Methodology We examined the Plan’s federal rate submissions and related documents as a basis for validating the market price rates. In addition, we examined the rate development documentation and billings to other groups, such as the SSSGs, to determine if the market price was actually charged to the FEHBP. Finally, we used the contract, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Acquisition Regulations (FEHBAR), and OPM’s Rate Instructions to Community-Rated Carriers to determine the propriety of the FEHBP premiums and the reasonableness and acceptability of the Plan’s rating system. To gain an understanding of the internal controls in the Plan’s rating system, we reviewed the Plan’s rating system’s policies and procedures, interviewed appropriate Plan officials, and performed other auditing procedures necessary to meet our audit objectives. 4 III. AUDIT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Premium Rates 1. Defective Pricing $1,007,099 The Certificate of Accurate Pricing the Plan signed for contract year 2005 was defective. In accordance with federal regulations, the FEHBP is therefore due a price adjustment for that year. We applied the defective pricing remedy for the year in question and determined that the FEHBP is entitled to a premium adjustment totaling $1,007,099 (see Exhibit A). We found that the FEHBP rates were developed in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations, and OPM rating instructions in contract years 2006 and 2007. Carriers proposing rates to OPM are required to submit a Certificate of Accurate Pricing certifying that the proposed subscription rates, subject to adjustments recognized by OPM, are market price rates. OPM regulations refer to a market price rate in conjunction with the rates offered to an SSSG. If it is found that the FEHBP was charged rates that exceeded the market price (i.e., the best rate offered to an SSSG), a condition of defective pricing exists, requiring a downward adjustment of the FEHBP premiums to the equivalent market price. 2005 In 2005, the Plan correctly selected ( and as the SSSGs. Our analysis of the rates charged to the SSSGs shows that received a percent discount and did not receive a discount. The Plan disclosed a percent discount for at the time of rate reconciliation and applied the percent discount to the FEHBP’s rates. The Plan disclosed a percent discount for in the response to the draft report. However, we found that the Plan incorrectly stated the billed rates for two subgroups. When the correct rates were applied, the percent discount disclosed above was produced. Our analysis of the rates charged to the FEHBP also shows that the Plan applied an overstated pharmacy trend of percent to the pharmacy claims experience used in the FEHBP rate development. In 2003, the Plan applied an percent trend to groups having 2-tier closed formulary pharmacy benefits and a percent trend to groups having 3-tier pharmacy benefits. The FEHBP had a 2-tier closed formulary pharmacy benefit in 2003 and a 3-tier pharmacy benefit in 2004. Since the experience period includes nine months of 2003 pharmacy claims and three months of 2004 pharmacy claims, we adjusted the pharmacy trend for the 2003 experience to percent to account for the experience having a 2-tier closed formulary benefit. After adjusting the pharmacy trend and applying the SSSG discount of percent, we determined that the FEHBP was overcharged $1,007,099 in 2005 (see Exhibit B). 5 Plan’s Comments (See Appendix): The Plan disagrees with our pharmacy trend finding in 2005 and agreed to the percent discount discussed above. The Plan argues that our conclusions were based on a misunderstanding of its rating methodology and the manner in which it calculated the percent trend. The Plan contends that our reduction of the trend from percent to a weighted trend percentage was inappropriate. The Plan agrees monies are due to the FEHBP for the SSSG discount and lost investment income associated with the understated discount. OIG’s Response to the Plan’s Comments: As discussed above, we disagree with the Plan’s calculation of a percent SSSG discount and believe that the correct discount is percent. Further, the Plan’s arguments in its response to our recent PacifiCare of Arizona draft report (Report number 1C- A3-00-06-085) related to this same finding (i.e., 2-tier vs. 3-tier trending) were totally different than its current argument on the PacifiCare of California draft report. In the Arizona response, the Plan simply argues that the FEHBP had a 3-tier pharmacy benefit instead of a 2- tier benefit. Now, the Plan acknowledges the use of a 2-tier pharmacy benefit but argues that for the higher trend. The Plan’s argument is unsound because the benefit adjustment factor is increased when going from a 2-tier, closed formulary plan, to a 3-tier, open formulary plan. In the end, this causes the total benefit adjustment factor to be higher, resulting in a higher prescription drug rate for the FEHBP, due to the change in formulary management. This is appropriate, since the FEHBP did in fact go from a 2-tier (less expensive, highly managed) formulary to a 3-tier (more expensive, less managed) formulary. However, this benefit change only accounts for the expected utilization of prescriptions during the projected period (or renewal period). It does not account for the lower cost trend of the 2-tier formulary expense that was previously incurred. By applying an average trend of the 2-tier and 3-tier formulary benefits, we effectively trend prescription drug expense at its expected cost level. Since the benefit adjustment accounts for higher utilization, the lower trend should be applied to the 2-tier pharmacy experience to account for the 2-tier formulary cost levels. The first step is to take the actual claim dollars incurred and convert it to the current cost level. The second step is to take the current-level expected costs and adjust for actual benefit/formulary changes over the experience period, which, among other things, accounts for the change in formulary management. By charging the benefit change and the higher trend, the Plan double-counted the expected costs for the projected period. Therefore, we continue to question the defective pricing amount in this finding. 6 Recommendation 1 We recommend that the contracting officer require the Plan to return $1,007,099 to the FEHBP for defective pricing in 2005. 2. Lost Investment Income $181,907 In accordance with the FEHBP regulations and the contract between OPM and the Plan, the FEHBP is entitled to recover lost investment income on the defective pricing finding identified in contract year 2005. We determined that the FEHBP is due $181,907 for lost investment income, calculated through December 31, 2008 (see Exhibit C). In addition, the FEHBP is entitled to lost investment income for the period beginning January 1, 2009, until all defective pricing amounts have been returned to the FEHBP. FEHBAR 1652.215-70 provides that, if any rate established in connection with the FEHBP contract was increased because the carrier furnished cost or pricing data that were not complete, accurate, or current as certified in its Certificate of Accurate Pricing, the rate shall be reduced by the amount of the overcharge caused by the defective data. In addition, when the rates are reduced due to defective pricing, the regulations state that the government is entitled to a refund and simple interest on the amount of the overcharge from the date the overcharge was paid to the carrier until the overcharge is liquidated. We calculated the lost investment income amount based on the United States Department of the Treasury's semiannual cost of capital rates. Plan’s Comments (See Appendix): The Plan agrees that the FEHBP is entitled to lost investment income on any overpayments actually due to the FEHBP. However, the Plan disputes the defective pricing associated with the pharmacy trend finding amounts, and therefore believes that no lost investment income is due the FEHBP for this finding. The Plan does agree the FEHBP is entitled to lost investment income on overpayments associated with the SSSG finding. OIG’s Response to the Plan’s Comments: We agree that lost investment income should be calculated on the defective pricing amounts actually due the FEHBP. However, we disagree that the FEHBP is not due lost investment income for the pharmacy trend finding. Therefore, our lost investment income calculation is based on the defective pricing amounts discussed in this report. Recommendation 2 We recommend that the contracting officer require the Plan to return $181,907 to the FEHBP for lost investment income for the period beginning January 1, 2005 through December 31, 7 2008. In addition, we recommend that the contracting officer recover lost investment income on amounts due for the period beginning January 1, 2009, until all defective pricing amounts have been returned to the FEHBP. 8 IV. MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT Community-Rated Audits Group , Auditor-In-Charge , Auditor , Auditor ________________________________________________________________________ , Chief , Senior Team Leader 9 Exhibit A PacifiCare of California Summary of Questioned Costs Defective Pricing Questioned Costs: Contract Year 2005 $1,007,099 Total Defective Pricing $1,007,099 Lost Investment Income $181,907 Total Questioned Costs $1,189,006 Exhibit B PacifiCare of California Defective Pricing Questioned Costs 2005 Contract Year Single Family Plan's Reconciled Line 5 Rates Audited Line 5 Rates Biweekly Overcharge x March 31, 2005 Enrollment x 26 pay periods Total Questioned Costs $1,007,099 Exhibit C PacifiCare of California Lost Investment Income Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 Total Audit Findings: Defective Pricing $1,007,099 $0 $0 $0 $1,007,099 Totals (per year): $1,007,099 $0 $0 $0 $1,007,099 Cumulative Totals: $1,007,099 $1,007,099 $1,007,099 $1,007,099 $1,007,099 Average Annual Interest Rate: 4.3750% 5.4375% 5.5000% 4.9375% Interest on Prior Years Findings: $0 $54,761 $55,390 $49,726 $159,877 Current Years Interest: $22,030 $0 $0 $0 $22,030 Total Cumulative Interest: $22,030 $54,761 $55,390 $49,726 $181,907 through December 31, 2008 Appendix 300 souu. Graoo Avenue , Suue BOO Los Angll l,;s , CA 9007 1 rereoroee 213·485-1500 fa'! 213 ·485- 12()(1 wwwJoc~e io rd cern zooa OCT ~ t AH 8; 211 L(H:k( ~ Lord Risscll& Llrldcll. Telp,pI,one aio 4:'13-1151 At torneys &. COlJP52lor s Iperry@lockelrnd.com September 29. 2008 Chief, Community-Rated Audits Group Office of the Inspector General U.S. Office of Personne l Management 1900 E. Street, NW, Room 6400 Was hington, DC 20415-1100 RE: Comments to the Drafl Audit ReporLgo Pa~Hi Cal:~ of California, P l ~n Code CY. R~.PQ rt No. lC-C Y-OO -Og-Ol~ Doa, _ : We represent Pacififlarc of Ca lifornia, a UnitedHealthcare Company ("Oni fedHealthc;ne") in connection with the above referenced matter. United ltea lthcare Company is responding to this audi t on behalf of Pacifif'are of Cali forn ia (HPacifiCare;' "Pacif iCare of California," or "the Plan.") On June 10, 2008, the Unite d States O ffice of Personnel Management, Office of the Inspector General ("O PM/01G") submitted to the Plan a "D ra ft Report" (1C -CY-00- 08-012) ("Draft Report" ). detai ling the results of its audit of the Federal Emp loyee Hea lth Benefits Program (" FEUDP") operations of Paci fifl are of California for Co ntrac t Years 2005 through 2007 _ Upon submission, OP M/OIG requ ested that the Plan provide comments to the Dra ft Report. The Plan app reciates the op portunity to respond to this Draft Report and the w illingness ofOPM to hel p resolve the outstanding issu es in this audit. The Plan has used its bes t efforts to obtain all relevant infonnation to respond to the Draft Report' s findings and recommendations. This Response will address eac h issue presented in the Draft Report. September 29. 200B Page 2 DEt'ECTIV~; PRICI NG CY200S DISCOUNT OFFEr~ EO TO SSSG._ In its Draft Report, the auditors slate that PacifiCare of California incorrectly disclosed a • percent discount for the SSSG, at the time of Reconciliation, whereas the auditors calculated the discount to to be percent. The auditors mistakenly believe that the Plan incorrectly calculated the di scount, based on the following: Deleted by Ihe OIG Nol Relevant to the Final Report P er~Membe( Per-Month ArnounLUsed 10 Calculate the~ The auditors further state that the Plan used an incorrect model-required per-member-per month amount to calculate the _ discount. The Plan used however, the support provided by the Plan shows ~." The auditors' use of thc _ per-member per-month amount to calculate the _ discount is incorrect. The auditors adopted the _ from an internal ACR calculation exhibit that the Plan had submitted as part of its Rate Reconciliation, This_ is not appropriate for 2 Septe mber 29. 2008 Page 3 T he proper per-member per-mo nth rate to usc in calculating the _ discoun t is _ . This amo unt was derived as follows. The Plan had originally submitted _ in its 0_. Rate Reconcil iation as the per-member per-month amount for its 2005 Required Model Plan. That amount was subseq uently co rrected by to accou nt for the Plan' s mistake in calculating the , as discussed in the above subsection of this Res ponse Letter. This resu lted in a 2005 Requi red Model Rate (See Exbibit 6• •_ OllOI/OS Renewal"; and Rxbibit 5, ._ Rating, Renewal Date 11t/200S.") By using these adjustments off the 2005 Required Plan per-member per-month amount ) The new 2005 Required Plan per-m ember per-mo nth amount accurately reflected the assigned risks and the selected benefits _ various gro ups. In addition. the new 2005 Req uired Plan per-member per-month amount also took into acco unt divided by the 2004 Current PMPM amo unt Adjustment ofllll percent. (See Exhibit 6, '_ 0_ 0 _ The new 2005 Requ ired Plan per-member per-month amount was then to prod uce the required Renew al 01 101 105 Renewa 1.") To calculate the variance, PacifrCare took the applied it to all the inforce rates in 3 Septem ber 29, 2008 Page 4 The impact of Pac ifiCare ' s calcu lation of its rev ised dis co unt, caused by the pharm acy ben efit demo graphic error, and the resulting impact on the FEHBP rates, are summarized in Pacifi fl arc' s revised Rat e Anal ysis . (See Exhibit 8, "Pacififlare of Cali fom ia. AUDIT REPORT NO: IC-CY-OO-08-012, 2005 Rate Analysis:') PHARMACY BENEFIT TRENJ) FA CTOR For 2005. the Draft Report makes the following statement related to the Plan' s pharmacy benefit trend factor: " O Uf analysis of the rates ch arged to the FEH BP sho ws tha t the Plan appl ied an overstated pharmacy trend o f . percent to the pharmacy claims experience used in the FEHBP rate development. In 2003, the Plan applied an . percent trend to groups having a z-uer closed formu lary pharmacy benefits and percent trend to !"lTOUpS having 3-t ier pharm acy benefits. The FEHBP had a z-tier closed form ulary pharmac y benefit in 2003 and a )· tier pharmacy benefit in 2004. Since the experience period includes 9 months of 2003 pharmacy claims and 3 mont hs 0[2004 pharmacy cla ims, we adjusted the pharmac y trend for the 2003 experience to . percent to account for the experience having a z-ticr dosed formulary benefit" In its Draft Report, the 01G focused on the claims assoc iated with the pharmacy benefits offered du ring the experience period . The ex perience period for PacifiCare o f California for the 2005 Contract Yea r is April 1,2003 to M arch 31, 2004 (the "Experienc e Period") . The Dr aft Report add ressed the claims associated with the level oCR>:. benefits that the auditors beli eve that Federal members rece ived during the first nin e months of this Experience Period (the April 1, 2003"to December 31, 2003 months). In reviewing the Fed era l Rx benefi ts for [he Experience -Period, the aud itors concluded that Pac if rCarehad incu rred costs for a lower Rx benefit level for the first nine months o f the Expe rience Period than for the last three months of the Experience Period, and reduced the Plan ' s pharmacy trend acccrdingly-. from . pcrcent lo . percent. The auditors' conclusion , however, was based on a fundamental mi sunderstanding on the part of the auditors of Pac ifif.are of Californi a's rating methodology, and the maimer in which the Plan calculated the . percent tre nd. The Plan 's response to this issue is di scussed below in the Plan' s clarification of its methodo logy. Th e foll owing is a clarification of PaciliCare of Cali fornia's raring methodo logy. PacifiCare of Ca lifum i;1 's M ethodology 4 September 29, 2008 Page 7 QPMIOIG Auditors ' MetilQ<lpJmri The above is a detailed discu ssion of the methodology used by PacifiCare of California to dev elop the 2005 pharmacy benefit premium. As stated earlier 1111his Response, it appears that the auditors did not recognize the Plan's methodology. As a result, the auditors did nor appl y the Plan's methodology when the auditors computed their trend factor. Ins tead, the auditors calculated their trend factor using the auditors' own methodology (using. perce nt for the first 9 months o f'the experience period and . percent for the last 3 months), which produced an understated trend. In buildin g its rates for the 2005 Contract Year, Paci fiCare o f Cali fomi a recogni . In order to protect the FEHBP from any rate disadvantages beca use o f this pricing differentia l, th The auditors, how ever. in preparing their own trend calculation used a different methodology which understated the trend. The Plan ' s . percent pharmacy trend factor is therefore appropriate. Pacififlare has provided the above detailed descri ption of how it calculated its pharmacy benefit trend and ma intains that its calculat ion is correct. The Plan therefore requests that OIG reevalu ate its audit adjustments based on its findings and reverse those adj ustmen ts. LOST INVESTMENT INCOME OPM/OIG has asserted that it is entitled to recover lost investment income on the defective pricing for CY 2005. It has calculated that amount to be $256 ,929 for the period beginning January I, 2005 through March 31, 2008, plus additi onal amounts beginning Aprill , 2008, until the funds have been returned to FEHBP. The Plan agrees that the FEHBP is entitled to lost investme nt income 0 11 an y overpayments actuall y due to FEIIBP. However, the Plan disputes all of the adjustments: recommend ed by O r M/GIG in this Final Report. Th e Plan, nevertheless. has discovered an overpayment by the FEHBP. as described above in this response letter, and there fore believes that any los t inves tment income due the FEIIB? is on ly for the amounts of that overpayme nt 7 September 29. 2008 Page 8 CONCLUSION In conclus ion, Pacifif. are has reviewed OPfVVOIG' s findin gs for CY 2005, along wi th supporting documents provided by the auditors. Based on our review of the information, PacifiCare has d eterm ined tha t, except where the Plan has adm itted an error. there are no amounts due the FEHBP for any of the audited years. Once }'(IU have had an opportunity to review our analysis, please co ntact me at the address, phone number or e-ma il on th is leu erhead if you have any questions or requi re additional information or support. Tha nk you for you r ongoing cooperation. Very truly yours, LeX;K£, LORD, BI SSELl. & LIDDELL LLP Attached Exhibits cc: Director, Underwriting Unitcdl-lcalthcare Manager, Underwriting Unitcd lfealthca rc B
Audit of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Operations of PacifiCare of California
Published by the Office of Personnel Management, Office of Inspector General on 2008-11-28.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)