Hospitals were overpaid $127.3 million by Medicare for patient transfers that were incorrectly coded as discharges from 1992 to 1994, according to a new study by HHS' inspector general's office.
The inspector general found more than 43,000 improperly reported transfers at more than 4,700 hospitals.
The new study follows a similar review done for 1986-1991 that identified 123,300 incorrectly reported transfers, resulting in more than $227 million in recoveries from hospitals. At that time, the inspector general suggested HCFA implement new computer tests to catch improperly reported transfers.
Based on the new study, the inspector general's office concluded that Medicare fiscal intermediaries are not properly processing transfers. Study authors also recommend recovering the $127 million in overpayments.