Government made $100 billion in improper payments to citizens

The federal government says it made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them. Tax credits went to families that didn’t qualify, unemployment benefits went to people who had jobs and medical payments were made for treatments that might not have been necessary. Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher. The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing their budgets. The improper payments include overpayments, underpayments, payments to the wrong recipient and payments made without proper documentation.
Feds Blow $100 Billion Annually on Incorrect Payments
Btween 2002 and 2012, federal agencies spent more than half a trillion dollars ($688 billion) on payments that should never have been made.   Every year, according to their own recordkeeping, the agencies that administer major federal programs are now paying out more than $100 billion dollars improperly, and even though they’re aware of the problem, they recover only a tiny fraction for taxpayers. This adds up to huge losses for the U.S. Treasury.
The prime offender in fiscal 2013 was the Department of Health and Human Services. According to its 2013 financial report, the agency estimated that across seven of the programs it administers, it paid out $55.9 billion improperly.
Last year, 10.1 percent of the payments made under Medicare’s Fee for Service program, which is administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, were determined to be either errors or the result of fraud. The result was a net improper payout of $33.2 billion.  Payments made through Medicare Part C, a supplementary insurance program, were improper 9.5 percent of the time in 2013, for a net loss of $6.9 billion, while payments through Part D, for prescription drugs, were wrong in 3.7 percent of cases, costing the agency another $1.4 billion.
 
Government made $100B in improper payments
Most of the payments were deemed improper because they were issued without proper documentation, said Shantanu Agrawal, a deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In some cases, the paperwork didn’t verify that services were medically necessary.  “Payments deemed ‘improper’ under these circumstances tend to be the result of documentation and coding errors made by the provider as opposed to payments made for inappropriate claims,” Agrawal said in prepared testimony for Wednesday’s hearing.
Medicaid Made $14.4 Billion Improper Payments Last Year GAO: problem will worsen under Obamacare 
Report http://gao.gov/assets/670/663306.pdf
June 19, 2014 8:59 am  The federal government paid out $14.4 billion in fraudulent reimbursements through Medicaid last year, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) highlighted a recent GAO report on the lack of oversight within Medicaid’s managed care organizations (MCOs) delivery system, which accounts for roughly $4 billion in waste each year.  “Today’s report is particularly troubling given Obamacare expands this broken program without substantial reforms to protect patients and taxpayers,” Hatch said in a statement Wednesday. “CMS is responsible for safeguarding the billions of dollars it receives from hard-working American taxpayers, and I strongly urge [CMS] Administrator [Marilyn] Tavenner to implement the changes recommended by GAO to improve CMS oversight of MCO payments.”  “This report underscores the need for Medicaid reform in order to ensure that scarce tax dollars are used properly,” he said.
Overall, Medicaid covered 71.7 million Americans in fiscal year 2013, totaling $431.1 billion, an estimated $14.4 billion of which were improper payments.