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High charges by doctors may or may not be red flags for fraud

NPR, May 19, 2014

That which walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, is not always actually a duck. That's the argument the American Medical Association has been using for decades to block public access to doctors' Medicare billing records. The AMA worries that people and the press will misinterpret the numbers when they see how doctors bill the government's $500 billion health care program for the elderly and disabled, and that doctors who are doing nothing wrong could be unfairly accused of fraud. But the medical association lost that argument last month and now doctors' Medicare billing data is a matter of public record– dense, complicated records. And those records are beginning to tell stories.