Medicare Overpayments Due To Outdated Testing Methods
Medicare may be overpaying by as much as $1 billion a year for patients' blood tests and other lab work, an Inspector's General report has found. In 2011, Medicare could have saved $910 million if it had paid the lowest insurer's payment rate for lab tests. Because the method to determine lab rates has not been updated in 30 years, Medicare's payment rate methodology does not take into account technological and market changes. Medicare also does not require copayments or deductibles for lab tests, unlike other insurers. Read the Full Article
Spending In The News
- Fraud Found In National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- On July 17, 2013, the New Jersey State Comptroller released a report on recent fraud found in the state's school lunch program. The report detailed more than 100 people, including government employees or their family members, who had lied about their personal income in order for their children to receive free lunch at school. Since the report, several news outlets and congressional figures have come out against the program. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) called for the firing of any public employee that misrepresented financial information in order to gain free lunches for their children. Read More on Spendopedia.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation administers the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP), which provides grants to small communities to improve their air service. However, the value and effectiveness of the program has been called into question. For example, the DOT announced that Topeka, KS would receive a $950,000 grant to help startup costs, provide an initial revenue guarantee and marketing support. Read More on Spendopedia
- On October 24, 2013, The Washington Times reported employees at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had been promoted or received pay increases that they did not deserve. According to the article, the employee promotions amounted to an additional $17.5 million in taxpayer expenditures over five years.
- The State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs spent more than $630,000 to increase its Facebook 'likes' during an advertising initiative between 2011 and 2013. According to The Washington Post, an Inspector General (IG) report found the campaign was largely ineffective.
- On November 5, 2013, Politico reported the U.S. Marshals Service spent nearly $800,000 in federal funds on promotional and personal items known as "swag." The report was based on an Inspector General (IG) report that found the list of items, purchased over a six-year span, included 400 to 500 silk ties, at least 200 hand-embroidered pillows, Christmas ornaments, scarves and various other home goods such as blankets.