Govt: Medicare paid $47 billion in suspect claims
The Associated Press
Sunday, November 15, 2009; 1:58 AM
WASHINGTON — The government paid more than $47 billion in questionable Medicare claims including medical treatment showing little relation to a patient’s condition, wasting taxpayer dollars at a rate nearly three times the previous year. . . . . . .
n recent years, the suspect claims have included Medicare prescriptions from doctors who were dead, and requests for payment for medical supplies such as blood glucose strips for sexual impotence and diabetic shoes for leg amputees. Patients, many of them new citizens who barely speak English, are sometimes recruited by brokers who go door-to-door offering hundreds of dollars for use of their Medicare numbers. . . . . . .
Records released in the past week showed that CMS for three years ignored internal watchdog warnings about swindlers stealing millions of dollars by scamming several Medicare programs. The agency received roughly 30 warnings from inspectors but didn’t respond to half of them, even after repeated letters.