KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

IG Report: $543 Million In Medicare Overpayments Remain Uncollected

USA Today reports that the inspector general's report noted that one of the factors keeping the government from recouping these funds was problems with a new accounting system. Meanwhile, Modern Healthcare reports that these types of overpayments are some of the most difficult to collect. 

USA Today: Accounting Woes Hurt Medicare's Tries To Get Lost Money
The Medicare system may never collect more than $543 million in overpayments made in 2010, a federal inspector general's report released Tuesday shows, because Medicare entered only a summary of each bill in its new system. The new accounting system for the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) and systems used by Medicare contractors did not extract data automatically, the report said, so information about providers and contractors was lost. Medicare officials, the report said, determined it would require thousands of hours to re-enter data on health care providers into the new system (Kennedy, 7/2).

Modern Healthcare: $543M In Illegitimate Medicare Claims Uncollected By CMS, Report Says
CMS classified $543 million as "currently not collectible" (CNC) debt, which includes Medicare overpayments made to bankrupt, hard-to-find and out-of-business providers, according to a report out today from HHS' inspector general's Office of Evaluation and Inspections. CMS officials say these are some of the most difficult types of overpayments to collect. All told, CMS identified $9.6 billion in Medicare overpayments to healthcare providers in 2010, and got most of that back (Carlson, 7/2).

In other Medicare news -

ProPublica: A Rap Sheet For Medicare's Prescription Drug Program
A lot has happened since our investigation in May showed that Medicare wasn't watching out for dangerous or fraudulent prescribing by doctors and others in its popular prescription drug program (Weber, Ornstein and LaFleur, 7/1).

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