WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired city worker Sheila Pugach lives in a modest home on a quiet street in Albuquerque, N.M., and drives an 18-year-old Subaru.
Pugach doesn't see herself as upper-income by any stretch, but President Barack Obama's budget would raise her Medicare premiums and those of other comfortably retired seniors, adding to a surcharge that already costs some 2 million beneficiaries hundreds of dollars a year each.
The Department of Health and Human Services has given qualified approval for a Medicare provider to give away $20 grocery gift cards to induce seniors to get more taxpayer-funded health screenings, despite concerns the promotion could run afoul of federal anti-kickback laws.
The government office that oversees Medicare and Medicaid has reimbursed prescription drugs at market costs, instead of at optional lower rates that could potentially save taxpayers millions of dollars a year, a government investigation has found.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimburses prescription drug purchases by beneficiaries through Medicare Part B. The cost is supposed to be no more than five percent above what it takes to manufacture the drugs.
Thousands of Medicare beneficiaries were put at risk of having their private medical information stolen because of security breaches, and the government was slow to notify or help most of the victims, an internal investigation found.
The stimulus law passed in 2009 required the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to quickly alert victims of possible identity theft, but the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General found the agency often was slow to do so for many of the 13,775 beneficiaries put at risk by 14 recent security breaches.
Safeguards on Medicare funding for community mental health centers are so weak that half the centers have unusually high billing with characteristics that suggest fraud, according to an investigation by the Health and Human Services Department's internal watchdog.
The report focuses on Medicare's Partial Hospitalization Program, which provides outpatient services to help mental health patients after a hospital stay.
Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s newly selected running mate, amassed a healthy campaign warchest during his time as House Budget Committee chairman, starting August with more than $6.1 million in cash in the bank.
But unlike many powerful committee chairmen, Ryan’s biggest source of political money to his re-election campaign and leadership political action committee aren’t the well-oiled special interest groups and their lobbyists who hover the halls of Congress.
The Department of Health and Human Services isn't meeting President Barack Obama's high-profile directive to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in government, failing to report all excessive or inappropriate payments from Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs, the agency's internal watchdog warns.
Hospitals disclose to state authorities few of the adverse events suffered by Medicare patients despite legal reporting requirements, undercutting an important safeguard against medical mistakes, a federal investigation has found.
The Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s review concluded most of the adverse events – bad reactions, medical mistakes or unexpected symptoms – aren’t even being caught by the hospitals’ own monitoring systems.