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Hospices Linked to Medicare Fraud

Report suggests hospices are key source of suspected Medicare fraud.

A report by a government agency points at hospices as a key industry involved in an estimated $260 million in fraud, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times "Report: Medicare often overbilled by hospices and pays twice for some drugs." The fraud is linked to unnecessary inpatient care and ordering prescriptions twice.

The results of this study are of natural concern for all taxpayers, but they are of particular concern for seniors for a couple of reasons. First, seniors who may need hospice care should receive the proper care. When in-home care is the appropriate treatment, then they should not be given inpatient care because that is better financially for the hospice. Secondly, many seniors have co-pays for Medicare Part D prescriptions. If the drugs are already being paid for by Medicare, seniors lose money when Medicare Part D is charged as well.

Eliminating $260 million per year of unnecessary Medicaid charges would make it much less likely that benefits would need to be reduced - as politicians seek to save the government money by cutting these benefits.

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