Health and Human Services Inspector General Richard P. Kusserow has reported that the government has saved about $2 billion a year on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as a result of recommendations from his office.
The savings, detailed in a semiannual report from the office, include $400 million in limits imposed by Congress on increases in Medicare payments, $320 million in changes in the Medicare cycle that enable slower payment of Medicare funds to hospitals and other providers of care and stepped up collections of health-care payments from non-Medicare insurance carriers for Medicare patients.
The report also said investigations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud resulted in 42 federal criminal convictions and elimination of 90 providers of health care from Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Also, according to the report, state Medicaid fraud units obtained 123 convictions. Investigations of fraud in Social Security resulted in 490 convictions and $20 million in savings and recoveries.
*A New York doctor was convicted of fraudulently claiming he was a U.S. citizen to get $58,000 in student loans.
*A family-planning worker in Texas filed false claims for her daughter, indicating that the girl was a migrant worker's dependent entitled to free medical services.
*The director of a health service organization was convicted of stealing $382,000 in Public Health Service funds to purchase land and a collection of 1950-model cars.