Medicare paid $1.5 billion in improper therapy claims in 2009

LA Times: By Chad Terhune, November 13, 2012

Medicare paid $1.5 billion in improper claims for skillednursing care in 2009, federal investigators found.

The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that 25% of all Medicare claims submitted by skilled nursing facilities had errors and the majority of those bills were “upcoded” for ultra-high therapy that wasn’t necessary.

About 15,000 nursing homes and other facilities provide thisphysical therapy, rehabilitation and other care to patients, often after a hospital stay. Medicare generally covers these services for up to 100 days related to an illness. Read more