GAO: Medicare, Medicaid Made $77.5B in Improper Payments in 2014
The federal government made $124.7 billion in improper payments in 2014, much of which were by Medicare and Medicaid, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday, the Washington Post's "Federal Eye" reports.
To reduce improper payments, Congress in 2002 required agencies to report how much such payments cost the federal government. In addition, amendments enacted under the Obama administration require agencies to try to recoup incorrect disbursements.
Improper payments increased by 18% last year, making the first increase in four years.
Medicare accounted for $60 billion in improper payments, while Medicaid made about $17.5 billion (Hicks, "Federal Eye," Washington Post, 3/6).
Together with the Earned Income Credit program, the three programs represented about 76% of the improper payment estimate (GAO report, 3/4).
"With outlays for major programs, such as such as Medicare and Medicaid, expected to increase over the next few years, it is critical that actions are taken to reduce improper payments," the report authors wrote.
However, they noted agencies "continue to face challenges, such as statutory limitations and compliance issues" when it comes to curbing such payments ("Federal Eye," Washington Post, 3/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.