OIG: Providers received millions from claims of caring for dead

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Providers in several states received an estimated $27.3 million in Medicaid overpayments as a result of claims they provided care to deceased patients, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. States have not recovered those overpayments.

The findings resulted from a 10-state audit of Medicaid programs. In the audit report, the OIG recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid conduct post-payment reviews to eliminate delays in receiving data regarding beneficiaries' dates of death.

Among the reasons states cited for not identifying and recovering the overpayments: Prepayment screening did not use all available death information, such as the Social Security Administration's death file, to update information in their Medicaid Management Information Systems. To date, only Arizona has used all available federal and state data, including nursing home records, to identify and recover overpayments.

The complete report is available at http://oig.hhs.gov/oas/reports/region5/50500030.htm.