Medicare's payment error rate was 9.3% in fiscal 2004, representing $19.9 billion in payments, down from 9.8% in fiscal 2003, CMS Administrator Mark McClellan said last week. The error rate was based on a review of 160,000 Medicare claims. The most frequent cause of a payment error was insufficient documentation, at 44%. Other frequent sources of errors were nonresponses, medically unnecessary services and incorrect coding. The CMS took over error-rate calculations from HHS' inspector general's office in 2003 and added new error categories including nonresponses.
By the Numbers
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