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Medicare on drugs: 24,000 tests for 145 patients

Reuters, May 30, 2014

Three Connecticut doctors billed Medicare for nearly 24,000 drug tests in 2012 - on just 145 patients. Despite the extraordinary number, Medicare administrators paid the doctors a total of $1.4 million, according to a Reuters analysis of government payments to health providers. The three physicians stand out in the Medicare data released last month because they conducted three to four times more drug tests per patient than any other provider in the country. In fact, they ordered so many individual tests, their patients averaged one every other day. A surge in prescription drug abuse among older Americans has been accompanied by a big increase in urine and blood tests nationwide.