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Capitol Health Call
November 10, 2015

Senate Examines Improper Medicare and Medicaid Payments

JAMA. 2015;314(18):1906. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15027

On the heels of a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing focused on improper Medicare, Medicaid, and earned income payments, the GAO released a report concluding that improper governmental payments—defined by federal statute as payments that should not have been made or were in the incorrect amount—increased from $105 billion in 2013 to $124.7 billion in 2014 (http://1.usa.gov/1FO3U7B). Medicare accounted for 48% of those improper payments and Medicaid accounted for 14% of improper payments, which include payments to ineligible recipients, payments for goods or services not covered under these programs, and duplicate payments.