Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT)

Access the below information from this page.

Program Background

Since 1996, CMS implemented several initiatives to prevent improper payments. CMS' goal is to reduce payment errors by identifying and addressing billing errors concerning coverage and coding. The Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program (CERT) is one of the programs created by CMS to assist in eliminating improper payments.

AdvanceMed has been contracted by CMS to perform random audits of chart notes and medical reports to verify the accuracy of claims payment. If you receive a request from AdvanceMed (also known as the CERT Documentation Center), to eliminate additional letter requests and follow-up calls, it is important to supply the requested information/documentation as soon as possible. Requests for records from the CERT Contractor do not pose any Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) vulnerabilities. Also, beneficiary authorization is not needed to release information for the request because authorization has already been given to release necessary medical information in order to process the claim. 

Request and Response Timeline

  • Initial Record Request – 75 days to respond
    • Day 0: Contact and/or send letter 1 via fax or mail
    • Day 30: Contact and/or send letter 2 via fax or mail
    • Day 45: Contact and/or send letter 3 via fax or mail
    • Day 60: Contact and/or send letter 4 certified
    • Day 76: If no records were received, full claim error assigned.
  • Tech Stops (i.e. Requests for Additional Document [RAD]) – 15 days to respond
    • Day 0–2: Contact and send letter 1 via fax or mail.
    • Day 10–15: Contact and send letter via fax or mail, if requested
    • Day 16: Claim placed back into review process.
  • Medical Review Specialist (MRS) Letters – 10 days to respond
    • Day 0: Contact and send letter 1 via fax or mail
    • Day 11: Claim placed back into review process.

Communication Between Noridian and Providers

Noridian CERT Team provides the below provider communication regarding the CERT program.

  • Non-Responder Call - Providers must submit initial medical records to CERT within 75 days of receipt of initial record request. If a provider has not responded to initial records request by day 40, Noridian will call provider
  • Tech-Stop Call - The CERT Contractor initiates a tech-stop when they have received the initial set of records; however, upon review, determined that key elements were missing. Review is placed on hold until provider provides additional documentation. Providers have only 15 days to comply with CERT tech-stop request. If a provider has not responded to request by day 7, Noridian will make a reminder call to provider
  • Facility Error Findings Letter - Providers who receive a CERT error will also receive a Facility Error Findings letter explaining CERT error review findings and provider corrective action options* available. The letter should be used to educate all provider staff members associated with the CERT program (e.g. billers, compliance officers, medical records etc.)
    • Letter Examples
      • Insufficient, No Document, No Response Error Letter: Identifies a claim that has received a CERT error for insufficient documentation, no documentation, no response, or will be receiving such error
      • Medically Unnecessary Service or Treatment Error Letter: Identifies a claim that has received a CERT error for medically unnecessary service or treatment, or will be receiving such error

Provider Corrective Actions

  • *Provider corrective action options may include:
    • Internal education
    • Submission of additional documentation to CERT contractor (if before deadline)
    • Submission of appeal (if before deadline)

If a provider wants to appeal a CERT decision, the request should be initiated shortly after receiving the Facility Error Findings letter. The letter includes the CERT Claim ID (CID), Health Insurance Claim (HIC) number, date of service, patient's name, CERT reviewer comments and lists providers' corrective action options. CERT appeal requests follow the standard Redetermination process.

Responding to a CERT Request

Invalid or insufficient documentation will result in a denial or reduction of the claim payment so it is best to submit all information which supports the services rendered. Noridian has created multiple Documentation Requirements checklists which may assist you in compiling the documentation needed.

When replying to the request, photocopy each record (Medicare does not reimburse for copying medical records). All copies must be complete, legible and contain both sides of each page including the page edges. The Claim Identification Number (CID#) identifies specific requests. Fax is the preferred method for submission.

  • AdvanceMed (Receives and reviews submitted CERT documentation)
  • CMS CERT Team (Governs all CERT efforts)

Contact Us

To submit a CERT related question to Noridian Medicare Part A, follow the instruction on Contact Us with CERT Questions webpage.


Last Updated Aug 18, 2017


Follow standard appeals process and submit request to Noridian.

AdvanceMed - CERT Review Contractor
CERT Documentation Center
1510 East Parham Road
Henrico, VA 23228
Fax: 804-261-8100
Phone: 443-663-2699 or 888-779-7477

Mail Stop C3-09-27
7500 Security Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21244