OIG: Medicare overpaid home health agencies $5 million in 2010 for dubious claims

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Home health agencies received $5 million in overpayments for dubious Medicare claims filed in 2010, federal investigators have found.

Many of the disputed funds were tied to overlapping claims for inpatient hospital and skilled nursing facility stays. Another problem area: billings for dead beneficiaries. Investigators also determined that about a quarter of the charges were excessive enough to trigger red flags.

Nearly 40% of the suspicious billings came from Texas, while Florida accounted for 25%. Michigan and Texas agencies were also cited in the report.

The Office of Inspector General recommended a temporary moratorium on new home health agency enrollments in Texas and Florida; closer scrutiny on claims involving skilled care and hospital stays; and stronger claims' monitoring.

Click here to read the OIG's full report.