Find Post Investigations On:
Facebook Scribd Twitter
Friendfeed RSS Google Reader
» About This Blog | Meet the Investigative Team | Subscribe
Ongoing Investigation

Top Secret America

The Post explores the top secret world the government created in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

Ongoing Investigation

The Hidden Life of Guns

How guns move through American society, from store counter to crime scene.

Have a Tip?

Talk to Us

If you have solid tips, news or documents on potential ethical violations or abuses of power, we want to know. Send us your suggestions.
• E-mail Us

Categories

Post Investigations
In-depth investigative news
and multimedia from The Washington Post.
• Special Reports
• The Blog

Reporters' Notebook
An insider's guide to investigative news: reporters offer insights on their stories.

The Daily Read
A daily look at investigative news of note across the Web.

Top Picks
A weekly review of the best
in-depth and investigative reports from across the nation.

Hot Documents
Court filings, letters, audits and other documents of interest.

D.C. Region
Post coverage of investigative news in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Washington Watchdogs
A periodic look into official government investigations.

Help! What Is RSS?
Find out how to follow Post Investigations in your favorite RSS reader.

Hot Comments

Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

Recent Posts
Bob Woodward

The Washington Post's permanent investigative unit was set up in 1982 under Bob Woodward.


Archives
See what you missed, find what you're looking for.
Blog Archive »
Investigations Archive »

Have a Tip?
Send us information on ethics violations or abuses of power.
E-Mail Us »

Other
Investigations
Notable investigative projects from other news outlets.
On the Web »
Top Picks »

GAO: Fake Companies Approved Under Medicare Program

POSTED: 05:08 PM ET, 08/ 4/2008 by Derek Kravitz
TAGS: GAO, Medicare

The government is putting millions of Medicare dollars at risk by allowing phony sellers of wheelchairs, prosthetics and other medical supplies to submit reimbursement claims, according to a Government Accountability Office report released today.

Government investigators uncovered the weakness in accounting controls when they sought to follow up on oversight gaps that have plagued the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services since at least 2005, The Associated Press' Hope Yen reports. Roughly $1 billion of the $10 billion in annual Medicare payments the government makes for medical equipment were deemed improper.

Two sham companies that the GAO set up to test the system during the past year were approved for payments, even though they lacked clients or any medical inventory, the report says.

Investigators claim that the fake companies easily could have been uncovered: A telephone number given to Medicare staffers rang to an unmanned telephone in the GAO building.

"Had our operation continued successfully, we could have fraudulently billed Medicare for substantial sums -- potentially reaching millions of dollars," the report says.

By Derek Kravitz |  August 4, 2008; 5:08 PM ET Washington Watchdogs
Previous: Details Emerge Slowly in Anthrax Case | Next: Abramoff Associate Avoids Halfway House

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



This proves there shouldn't be any government sponsored health insurance. The less government involvement in our lives, the better.

Posted by: twotimetuna | August 5, 2008 7:09 AM

Using that simplistic logic we also shouldn't rely on private insurers either. You do know that Private insurers have been caught in fraud and abuse too, right? Most recently several private insurers in Medicare Advantaged had to be sanctioned for defrauding seniors. This simplistic "government-bad/business-good" world view is why our healthcare system is in the mess it's in.

Posted by: Wrightk | August 5, 2008 9:17 AM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company