$48 billion in improper Medicare payments investigated

    A Congressman from Pennsylvania is taking a look at the billions of dollars worth of improper payments made by Medicare programs.

    Billing mistakes or intentional fraud are estimated to have cost all federal programs about $125 billion last year.

    Medicare was the most egregious offender, responsible for $48 billion in payments it shouldn’t have made.

    GOP Congressman Todd Platts, of the state’s 19th District, is leading the effort to investigate those payments.

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    He recently held a hearing, in the midst of the D-C drama over the debt limit.

    That was pure coincidence, but Platts says the two issues are related – the goal in both debates is to get the financial house in order.

    “And that certainly is what our focus in the hearing was about,” he said. “How can we control spending in the future with the Medicare when it comes to improper payments, how do we strengthen those internal controls of the systems.”

    As Platts’ panel recommends certain controls to Medicare, it is bracing itself for an upcoming report on the program’s improper payments for prescription drugs–that part of Medicare hasn’t been inspected yet for billing errors.

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