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Medicare Fraud: $5.6 Billion Paid To 2,600 Drugstores With Questionable Billings, Report Shows

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 5/10/12

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Image from a quicklink Medicare paid $5.6 billion to 2,600 pharmacies with questionable billings, including a Kansas drugstore that submitted more than 1,000 prescriptions each for two patients in just one year, government investigators have found.

The new report by the inspector general of the Health and Human Services department finds the corner drugstore is vulnerable to fraud, partly because Medicare does not require the private insurers that deliver prescription benefits to seniors to report suspicious billing patterns.

"While some pharmacies may be billing extremely high amounts for legitimate reasons, all warrant further scrutiny," said the report being issued Thursday.

The analysis broke new ground by scrutinizing every claim submitted by the nation's 59,000 retail pharmacies during 2009 -- more than 1 billion prescriptions. Using statistical analysis, investigators were able to reveal...

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