Healthcare Business News

Inspector general reports recovery of $3.4 billion

By Gregg Blesch
Posted: June 1, 2011 - 6:15 pm ET

HHS' inspector general's office tallied $3.4 billion in expected recoveries through its audits and investigations in the first half of fiscal 2011, according to its semiannual report to Congress. The office recovered $3.1 billion in the year-ago period.

Of that, $222.4 million is attributed to audits with the other $3.2 billion netted from fraud investigations, largely carried out in collaboration with the U.S. Justice Department. That includes $620 million that will flow to agencies other than HHS, principally state Medicaid programs.

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The largest case represented is a $750 million agreement with GlaxoSmithKline finalized in October, in which the company resolved civil and criminal allegations that it distributed adulterated drugs from a now-shuttered plant in Puerto Rico.

The inspector general's office also highlighted a few of its audits, including one estimating that 13.5% of Medicare beneficiaries discharged in October 2008 suffered adverse events during their hospital stays, and another finding that skilled-nursing facilities have increasingly billed Medicare for higher-paying categories of care.

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