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It Pays to be Dead: Medicare Paid Millions to Dead People, Illegal Immigrants

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New reports from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General reveal that Medicare wrongly paid out millions of dollars in benefits to dead patients, illegal immigrants and dead doctors.

rockybonesAccording to the reports in 2011 Medicare paid $23 million in services for dead patients, spent $25 million on dead doctors between 2009-2011, and provided $29 million in prescription drugs for illegal immigrants from 2009-2011.

Under federal law, none of these categories of people are eligible for Medicare benefits or payments.

The IG reports that from 2009-2011, more than 4,100 illegal immigrants were able to make drug benefit claims, because while the agency does have controls in place to prevent illegal immigrants from making Medicare claims, it did not have policies for prescription drug coverage. CMS agreed to put controls in place to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving benefits.

CMS also agreed to work to prevent and recover benefits provided to dead beneficiaries.     Read the rest of this entry »

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