Corporate Compliance

New report reveals $47 billion in Medicare fraud

Compliance Monitor, November 18, 2009

The government paid over $47 million in questionable Medicare claims – nearly three times the amount from last year, according to a new federal report, obtained by The Associated Press (AP).
The improper payments are the largest waste of taxpayer dollars in the $440 billion Medicare program’s 20 year history, according to the report.
According to the AP, the Health and Human Services Department’s stricter documentation requirements caused the increase, not an actual rise in Medicare fraud. The AP reports that in the near future, President Obama will announce new initiatives to defend against Medicare fraud, including the launch of a government Web site detailing healthcare spending and improper payments by various health agencies.
The Obama administration has set its goal of reducing improper Medicare payments at 9.5%. This projected target would save taxpayers a total of $9.7 billion.

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