Florida facilities took advantage of Medicare, government study shows

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Florida has more than one-third of the U.S. total of comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, and these may be taking advantage of the federal reimbursement system, a new government study shows.

Florida's 191 comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities received about twice as much per patient for services from Medicare as skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation agencies in 2002, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

In 2001, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities in Florida repaid Medicare about $1 million after the contractor discovered widespread over-billing for patients' health maintenance rather than improvement.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services responded to the report by agreeing that Florida's Medicare contractor needs to police claims more closely.

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