Louisiana is No. 1 again. This time the state posted the highest rate of Medicare over-billing in the country. Those providing medical services in the state charged an estimated $1.25 billion more than they should have.
U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, told The Advocate the fact the federal government makes some $125 billion annually in total improper Medicare payments nation-wide is outrageous. The fact improper payments in Louisiana are approaching 20 percent proves there are major problems in the system, he said
Kristin Walter, a spokesperson for an organization representing recover audit contractors, said mis-billings don’t involve fraud. She said they are mostly clerical errors like applying the wrong code to a treatment or submitting the same bill twice.
Recovery audit contractors add that short hospital stays also generate a considerable portion of improper payments. Walter said they aren’t being audited because of pressure from hospitals.