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Waste Watch: Billions Misspent by Medicare Not Recovered According to Law

NASHVILLE, TN – Claims that the agency administering Medicare and Medicaid is breaking the law and Congress is turning a blind eye.

Billions of dollars are wrongly being spent by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and it’s stopped tracking them down.

A law the agency once abided by, hiring private sector auditors to recover billions of misspent dollars by the agency, is now being ignored.

Citizens Against Government Waste Vice President for Policy and Communications Leslie Paige says, “That is a billion dollars a quarter. Let me repeat: That’s minimally, going out the door to improper payments.”

Improper payments made in the form of reimbursements to hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Some payments made fraudulently, some in the form of mistakes through sloppy billing, miscoding and upcoding.

And after auditors got back almost $10 billion dollars over 8 years, CMS suspended the Recovery Audit Contractor Program within its agency in 2014.

Two years later, the CAGW are calling for it to be reinstated.

Paige says, “it was working. And it was very effective, recovering about a billion dollars a quarter to the trust fund.”

The Medicare trust fund, now depleting faster than expected.

Fox 17 called and emailed CMS to ask why this recovery initiative is suspended and we’re still waiting for a response.

Though the CAGW claims to know the answer:

“The hospitals were not happy and they put an inordinate amount of pressure, not only on CMS, but also on members of Congress. And CMS has moved to administratively undermine the program.”

Paige is calling out Congress for “bipartisan negligence,” saying members of Congress are not holding CMS accountable with the law due to pressure they’re receiving from hospitals in their districts.

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