Feds Say Nursing Homes Overbilled Medicare By $1.5 Billion

At a time when the nursing home industry is lobbying Congress to avoid cuts in Medicare payments, a federal watchdog agency is reporting that taxpayers overpaid nursing homes $1.5 billion.

The study released this week by the inspector general’s office of the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that nursing homes billed about a quarter of claims incorrectly in 2009 — the year it studied. Most of those claims were “upcoded,” which means Medicare was billed for services that were more extensive than what was provided or needed. Many of the claims were for intensive physical, speech or occupational therapy.

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Source: Kaiser Health News