Report: Medicare Fraud Soaring

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal report suggests as much as 12.4 percent of Medicare claims for the first part of this year are suspect -- some $47 billion worth of taxpayer money.

The number would represent a more than threefold increase over the roughly 4 percent reported under the Bush administration from 2005-2008 in the fee-for-service program. That difference, however, could be attributed to a new, more comprehensive method of counting questionable claims which includes both fee-for-service and managed care.

Excerpts of the government report makes clear that "aggressive actions" to rid Meidcare of fraud haven't made a dent. In recent years, suspect claims have included Medicare prescriptions from doctors who were dead and requests for payment for diabetic shoes for leg amputees.

The federal report suggests reducing improper payments in the fee-for-service program to 9.5 percent by next year, a savings of roughly $9.7 billion.

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