Medicare made duplicate payments to pharmacies for hospice patients

A recent audit by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General found evidence of duplicate payments made by Medicare to pharmacies on behalf of its hospice patients.

According to McKnight's, the recently released report details the double payments made by Medicare Part D, which is the program's prescription drug benefit. However, Medicare Part A, which pays for hospice care, already makes those payments. The Inspector General stated that nearly 200,000 hospice patients received 677,022 prescriptions through Medicare Part D. This equates to a total of over $33 million in payments by the program, which should have already been covered by Part A. Additionally, the report said these patients might have made unnecessary copayments, totaling approximately $3,835,557 under Part D, states the news source.

On the other hand, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has said there were no duplicate payments that occurred, reports The Washington Examiner. The report listed suggestions that the program could implement in order to prevent a similar situation, which costs taxpayers and patients extra money. The CMS stated it would not take measures to improve the policies in place until there was solid evidence of duplicate payments, says the news site.

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