HHS' inspector general's office said its various initiatives saved taxpayers $23 billion in fiscal 2003 ended Sept. 30, an increase in savings of $1 billion over fiscal 2002. The amount includes $21.6 billion from the implementation of recommendations by the inspector general's office to reduce costs or streamline operations within Medicare, Medicaid and 300 other state and federal programs the agency oversees. Some $988 million of the total was collected from provider settlements and $405 million came from identified overpayments. The office oversaw or conducted 2,643 audits, conducted 60 evaluations of department programs and opened 1,685 criminal cases. It now has more than 2,700 open investigations. During the fiscal year, inspector general investigations led to 576 criminal convictions, 243 civil settlements and the exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid of 3,275 healthcare providers, both individuals and companies. Read the agency's report. -- by Mark Taylor
HHS' inspector general's office says its work pays off
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