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How fraud flourishes in Medicare's drug plan

Medicare’s massive drug program has a process so convoluted and poorly managed that fraud flourishes, giving rise to elaborate schemes that quickly siphon away millions of dollars. Among the findings of an ongoing investigation by ProPublica and NPR: 

 

  •  ProPublica identified scores of doctors whose prescribing in Medicare’s drug program bore the hallmarks of fraud
  • The cost of one Miami doctor’s medications jumped from $282,000 to $4 million in one year , but her lawyer said Medicare didn’t ask any questions
  • Scammers sometimes charge Medicare for drugs they don’t dispense and then resell them to pharmacies and wholesales
  • Investigators say Medicare fails to block doctors’ IDs when there’s a suspicion of fraud
  • In Medicare’s convoluted fraud-fighting system most cases are dropped without referral to prosecutors
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