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Capitol Health Call
August 13, 2008

Medicare Abuse

JAMA. 2008;300(6):645. doi:10.1001/jama.300.6.645-b

Thousands of Medicare providers are abusing the federal tax system, said a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08618.pdf). The report, released June 20, said more than 27 000 health care businesses (such as hospitals and nursing homes) who received Medicare payments in 2006 (about 6% of such businesses) had more than $2 billion in payroll and other federal tax debts. The GAO said some individuals associated with these businesses accumulated substantial wealth and assets while neglecting to pay their federal taxes.

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