Benefits: OMB Recoups $687 Million Across Agencies, Including Medicare; Department Of Labor Sues Businesses For Withholding Employee Money
Federal News Radio: The Office of Management and Budget, which "has been working to track and recoup the money paid by agencies in the wrong amount or to the wrong vendors and contractors" reported "$687 million was recovered across all agencies" in Fiscal Year 2010. "In particular Medicare fee-for-service, Medicare Part C, and Medicaid all saw their [error rates for improper payments] decline." The total recouped for FY2010 "is 300 percent or three times what was recovered in FY2009. The latest numbers seemingly put OMB on pace to reach the White House's goal of reducing improper payments by $2 billion by the end of 2012 -- a bar set as part of its Accountable Government Initiative" (Blanco, 11/16).
The Associated Press/Seattle Times: The Department of Labor "said Wednesday it has filed civil lawsuits against 24 companies and business owners alleged to have kept money withheld from paychecks that was meant for retirement or health accounts," citing the recession as a key financial stress driving business owners to steal benefit money. "The agency oversees 708,000 pension plans and 2.5 million health plans in addition to a few million life insurance, short-term disability, and similar plans. In addition to civil lawsuits, which attempt to recover the employee money, the Labor Department has begun a program to file criminal cases against some employers or plan administrators. So far this year, the government has initiated 191 criminal investigations, referring 97 cases to federal prosecutors. It has obtained 20 indictments and seven guilty pleas. Assets returned total more than $385,000 so far" (Pitt, 11/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.