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OIG: Medicare could have saved $910 million on lab tests in 2011

Bloomberg BNA, June 13, 2013

Medicare could have saved $910 million in 2011 by paying the lowest possible rate for certain clinical lab tests, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General released June 11. The report, Comparing Lab Test Payment Rates: Medicare Could Achieve Substantial Savings (OEI-07-11-00010), said "Medicare could have saved $910 million, or 38 percent, in 2011 if it had paid the same rate as the lowest paying insurer surveyed for each lab test in each geographic location." OIG looked at payment rates for 20 clinical lab tests in 56 geographic regions and compared Medicare's payment rates against those of Medicaid and three fee-for-service Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plans.