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Senator Tom Coburn States Government Has Spent Over a Billion Plus on the Deceased For HealthCare and Related Supplies

Posted Oct 29 2010 7:26pm

Here’s definitely an area for budget cuts where nobody will complain or get hurt.  The reality here though is the fact that IT infrastructure of the image government is in sad shape but they are working on the solutions and this has a lot to do with perhaps outsourcing data and IT work when perhaps some should have been developed in house.  Some even were reported to have received stimulus money according to this article. 

Shoot people even make money selling information services on dead doctors too. As a matter of fact with companies that don’t check their data against the Social Security Death Index data base can lead to a fishing ground for crooks as they determine these records are not up to date, get that MD NPI number and start billing fraudulently

These folks were sold on the stock exchange until recently bought by a private equity firm and they can’t get it right. 

HealthGrades And Other MD Rating and Referral Sites List “Dead Doctors” on Their MD Information Pages And Even Include the Insurance Plans the “Dead Doctors” Honor

In addition on the hospital side of HealthGrades Skeptical Scalpel, a surgeon and blogger was kind enough to research and add some input here at his blog. image

Hospital Ratings Revisited

Here’s the big story from a year ago on the original findings with Medicare and the use of dead doctors NIPI numbers for fraudulent billing. 

Probe finds dead doctors used in Medicare Scam

What I also thought was interesting was the Wall Street Journal talking about making MD Medicare payments available on the web where they reference companies that could work the data and put it into a format to where the public could use, but heck if HealthGrades can’t get it right and they make millions selling their subscriptions, what kind of a nightmare would we see here as there are tons of errors and if an MD had a bad billing clerk it would make errors appear to be false positives for fraud in some instances.

Here’s a guy in jail for fraud and yet he still shows a 5 Star rating.  They city of Buffalo in New York paid out over 2 million with insurance premiums on their dead employees and nobody asked questions or wondered why none of those folks had gone to see a doctor for mammograms or any other preventive care, like the HMO and insurance companies say they check on.  Doctors all the time have to tell the insurance companies too that the patient has pass away, so go figure there. 

One thing for sure, we know somebody is posing as a dead person imposter through all of this and collecting big time.  We could save money in healthcare if we get our data correct and stop paying the dead, I agree on this one.  BD 

In the last 10 years, spanning two terms of George W. Bush’s administration and the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the federal government has dished out more than $1 billion to the deceased, according to a new report by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who serves as the ranking Republican on an investigative Senate subcommittee.

The payments span the gamut, including $18 million to nearly 72,000 dead people from the economic stimulus funds from the Social Security Administration; an additional $40 million to deceased Social Security beneficiaries; nearly $4 million from the Health and Human Services Administration to pay heating and cooling costs; more than $1 billion in farming subsidies from the Agriculture Department to nearly 173,000 dead farmers (since the 1990s); $15 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to nearly 5,000 households with one dead person; and $92 million out of Medicare for medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for supplies sought by dead patients.

Oftentimes, federal agencies lack proper records to track whether a beneficiary is dead or alive, and other times the claims are being made fraudulently. And sometimes the money sits in an unused checking account for years; other times the money ends up with someone who has a pulse.

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