Government Paid Millions for Dead Patients' Medical Costs

WASHINGTON, DC-A difference in database records led the government to pay more than $4 million to cover medical costs of patients who were decease.

The Health Care Financing Administration made the payments even though Medicare listed the beneficiaries as dead. An investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services has found the Medicare agency paid premiums for 200 people who died between 1991 and 1999. There are $3.2 million misdirected funds outstanding, but the department has recovered $4 million to date. They have also updated their records and databases to prevent this from happening in the future.

There are more than 40 million elderly and disabled Americans who receive Medicare health insurance.

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