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Resource ID: #25743
Source:Center for Public Integrity (Washington, D.C.)
Cracking the Codes documented how thousands of medical professionals have steadily billed Medicare for more complex and costly health care over the past decade - adding $11 billion or more to their fees - despite little evidence elderly patients required more treatment. The series also uncovered a broad range of costly billing errors and abuses that have plagued Medicare for years - from confusion over how to pick proper payment codes to apparent overcharges in medical offices and hospital emergency rooms. The findings strongly suggest these problems, known as “upcoding,” are worsening amid lax federal oversight and the government-sponsored switch from paper to electronic medical records.