Ready, Set, Audit: Steps to Prepare Your Organization for RAC Audits


RAC audits, or Recovery Audit Contractor audits, are an essential part of the healthcare revenue cycle management (RCM) process. These audits help identify and recover improper payments made to healthcare providers by Medicare and Medicaid. However, RAC audits can be complex and challenging for organizations. To ensure a smooth and successful audit process, it is crucial to follow a comprehensive set of steps. In this blog, we will discuss the key steps to prepare your organization for RAC audits, equipping you with the necessary knowledge and strategies for success.

Understanding RAC Audits

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand the nature of RAC audits. RAC audits are conducted by independent contractors hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to review claims for potential improper payments. These audits primarily focus on claims that may have coding errors, lack sufficient documentation, or fail to meet medical necessity criteria. Understanding the RAC audit process will help you align your efforts and be better prepared for a successful outcome.

Step 1: Conduct Internal Audits

Internal audits play a crucial role in preparing for RAC audits. Conduct regular internal audits to proactively identify potential compliance issues within your organization. Focus on high-risk areas or services with frequent denials. These audits will help you identify and rectify any coding, documentation, or billing errors, ensuring that your claims meet the necessary requirements.

Step 2: Documentation and Coding Compliance

Accurate and comprehensive documentation is paramount when it comes to defending your claims during RAC audits. Ensure that your documentation accurately reflects the services provided, supports the billed codes, and meets the medical necessity criteria. Pay special attention to coding accuracy and adhere to official coding guidelines. Regularly monitor coding practices and conduct audits to identify any potential errors or patterns that may draw audit scrutiny.

Step 3: Implement a Compliance Program

Establishing a robust compliance program is vital to maintaining ongoing adherence to RAC audit requirements. Develop and maintain policies, procedures, and internal controls that cover documentation standards, coding guidelines, billing practices, and auditing processes. Regularly educate and train your staff on compliance practices, keeping them updated with coding guidelines and regulations. An effective compliance program will minimize risks and ensure your organization is well-prepared for RAC audits.

Step 4: Responding to RAC Audit Requests

Timely and appropriate response to RAC audit requests is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the audit process and the deadlines outlined by the RAC program guidelines. Provide all requested documentation and information within the specified timeframe. Failure to respond or delays in response may lead to adverse findings. Establish clear protocols for organizing and submitting requested documentation to streamline the response process.

Step 5: Appealing Adverse Findings

In the event of adverse audit findings, exercising your right to appeal is important. Familiarize yourself with the RAC audit appeals process and the associated deadlines. Gather strong evidence, including supportive documentation, to challenge any incorrect denials. Develop a robust appeals strategy and present your case effectively, increasing your chances of overturning adverse findings.

Step 6: Staying Informed and Seeking External Support

To stay ahead in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, it’s crucial to stay informed about changes in regulations, coding guidelines, and reimbursement policies. Attend industry conferences, webinars, and training sessions to remain up-to-date. Consider engaging external auditors or consultants with expertise in RAC audits. They can provide an independent assessment of your organization’s readiness and offer recommendations for improvement.

Simplify RAC Audits with RevKeep

As you navigate the complexities of RAC audits, leveraging technology solutions can simplify the process and increase your chances of success. RevKeep is an easy-to-use software solution that helps RCM teams streamline RAC and private payor audits. With RevKeep, you can simplify your audit response, track audit issues, and efficiently gather the necessary documentation. By leveraging RevKeep, RCM teams can enhance their audit readiness and win more RAC and private payor audits.


RAC audits are a critical aspect of healthcare revenue cycle management. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can effectively prepare your organization for RAC audits and increase your chances of success. Conducting internal audits, ensuring documentation and coding compliance, implementing a robust compliance program, and responding promptly to audit requests are key steps. Additionally, staying informed and leveraging technology solutions like RevKeep can further simplify the audit process. Prepare diligently and enhance your audit readiness to achieve favorable outcomes in RAC audits.

Win More RAC & Private Payor Audits With RevKeep

RevKeep helps RCM Teams streamline RAC & private payor audits and win more of them with an easy-to-use software solution.

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