Medicare reimbursed providers and suppliers $23 million for healthcare services to beneficiaries in 2011, despite the fact that those beneficiaries had died more than a month earlier, according to an Office of Inspector General's report issued Oct. 31.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services "has safeguards to prevent and recover Medicare payments made on behalf of deceased beneficiaries," the agency said. "However, it inappropriately paid $23 million [less than one-tenth of a percent of total Medicare expenditures] in 2011 after beneficiaries' deaths. Part C (Medicare Advantage plans) accounted for 86% of these improper payments," or $19,906.805 for 11,835 deceased beneficiaries.
Part A claims submitted for dates of service (hospital, home health, skilled nursing facility, and/or hospice care) after beneficiaries' dates of death totaled $1.634,280 for 193 deceased beneficiaries.
Claims under Part D, which covers prescription drugs, with dates after death amounted to $1,049.444 for 5,101 beneficiaries. And claims under Part B, for physician and non-physician fees, amounted to $592,823 for 1,541 beneficiaries who had died by their dates of service.