KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicare Foots $120 Million Bill For Ineligible Patient Groups

According to two government reports, the Medicare program was billed for more than $33 million in inmate care and more than $91 million for illegal immigrant care between 2009 and 2011. Medicare generally does not pay for services for either of these patient groups.

The Associated Press: Reports: Medicare Paid $120M In Illegal Care
The taxpayer-funded Medicare program paid more than $120 million from 2009 to 2011 in violation of federal law for medical services for inmates and illegal immigrants, according to two reports issued Thursday by federal health officials. Under federal law, Medicare generally does not pay for services for either group of patients (Kennedy, 1/24).

Meanwhile --

Bloomberg: Drugmakers Prep For U.S. Rules On Disclosing Payments
Drug companies and medical-device makers would be forced to publicly disclose any money paid to doctors under new U.S. regulations designed to make patients aware of conflicts of interest that may affect their health. The final rule, a provision in President Barack Obama’s health law that is more than a year overdue, is set to be released soon, said Brian Cook, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Companies would have to publish payments to doctors for research and consulting services (Edney and Wayne, 1/24).

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