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Report raises red flags on Medicare lab billing

from The Wall Street Journal

Medicare allowed $1.7 billion in 2010 payments to clinical laboratories for claims that raised red flags, according to a recent report, the latest example of how the federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled is susceptible to misspending and abuse. The report, by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General, found that more than 1,000 laboratories showed five or more measures of questionable billing during that year, the latest available when the office began compiling the data. That includes various metrics signifying higher-than-average billing, using ineligible physician identification numbers and administering duplicate tests, among other things. more

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