Medicare paid billions of dollars to pharmacies with questionable billing patterns and possible criminal behavior, a new government report revealed Thursday.
The report, which examined Medicare claims from pharmacies in 2009, found that the program paid $5.6 billion to pharmacies with “suspicious” activities.
“What we are seeing in the data is extremely concerning,” said Jodi Nudelman, a regional inspector general in New York who directed the research.
One Kansas pharmacy submitted more than 1,000 prescriptions for just two patients in a single year.
The report found that 2,600 pharmacies have questionable billing practices, which is only about 4 percent of the nation’s pharmacies. Still, the losses add up since the average pharmacy bills Medicare about $1 million a year.
Researchers concluded that Medicare has limited safeguards in place, making it vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse.
“The findings call for a strong response to improve [program] oversight,” researchers said in the report.
Source: CBN News