Medicare pays $23 million for dead patients

Medicare paid $23 million for dead patients in 2011 and $29 million for drug benefits for illegal immigrants from 2009 to 2011, according to a new report.

Investigators from  the Health and Human Services inspector general said Medicare has safeguards to try to stop payments to dead patients, but it still ended up sending out the $23 million anyway.

The Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — the same agency that is struggling to fix the broken Obamacare website — acknowledged the problems and said it will try to take steps to fix them.

“We agree that in cases where the information indicates an individual is not lawfully present in the United States, that individual should not be permitted to enroll or to remain enrolled in a Part D plan during the period where he or she is not eligible to receive federal benefits,” Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of CMS, said in response to the report about illegal immigrants getting benefits.

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