Skip to comments.IG report: Medicare made $1.7B in 'questionable' payments
Posted on 07/10/2014 11:20:34 AM PDT by PoloSec
A Thursday report casts a shadow over Medicare, raising new questions about fraud and mismanagement within the government insurance program for people who are retired or disabled.
The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report that found Medicare made billions of dollars in suspect payments to clinical laboratories around the country in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available.
The report follows a similarly damaging account from the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which said Wednesday that improper Medicare payments are at a record high.
The report mentioned Thursday in a Federal Register notice found examples of at least $1.7 billion in questionable payments to more than 1,000 laboratories, many of which were located in Florida and California. This accounted for about 20 percent of all the payments Medicare made that year.
Medicare was suspicious of many of these laboratories because they filed claims with ineligible physician identification number or for duplicate tests, but it still paid them, the report found.
These labs are used to test patients' blood count, for cholesterol screenings, and urinalyses. But the inspector general suggested they may be giving "kickbacks" to doctors who refer patients, which is illegal.
In many cases, the labs would file claims for patients who lived more than 150 miles away from the prescribing doctor.
"One purpose of the anti-kickback statute is to protect patients from inappropriate medical referrals or recommendations by health care professionals who may be unduly influenced by financial incentives," the inspector general wrote.
But the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) questioned the methodology of the inspector general's report, pointing out that the majority of labs are not involved in fraudulent activity.
"While lab services represent less than 2 percent of Medicare spending as noted in the [office of inspector general] report, it remains important that clinical labs take seriously their responsibility as stewards of taxpayer dollars used to cover the expense of caring for Medicare beneficiaries," ACLA President Alan Mertz said.
recoup the losses from the employees
Government fraud? No, of course not! Who could imagine such a thing?
Low by at least an order of magnitude.
The feral government is at a stage where it is almost impossible to do anything well.
It has several major problems:
1. - The government has grown so large that it is almost impossible to manage efficiently.
2. - Too many people from top to bottom are in their jobs because of skin color, sexual preferences, political loyalties, etc. rather than ability and competency.
3. - The Obama administration has the bureaucracies concentrating on political activities rather than the primary job they exist to perform.
When they spend their time trying to figure out ways to screw anyone who doesn’t support Obama they are not concentrating on running their departments.
When agencies like the Post Office and IRS have their own SWAT teams, and the Director of Homeland Security identifies veterans, conservatives and Christians as domestic terrorist threats you know the government is off the rails.