A routine market analysis by HHS investigators concluded that the CMS overpaid for medications in a recent quarter by $4.6 million. However, Medicare could recoup nearly as much through a coming market-pricing initiative.
Stuart Wright, deputy inspector general at HHS, wrote Marilyn Tavenner, acting CMS administrator, on Aug. 10 with his office's quarterly estimate of the excessive drug prices (PDF) the agency had paid in a preceding quarter. Such reports, which the agency has issued since 2005, were required by Congress to provide a comparison between the market prices for medications and the amounts the CMS has paid for them. The CMS has yet to lower its drug reimbursements based on previous findings by the inspector general, Stuart noted.