Hospital Part B payments exceed charges? Errors likely

Hospitals can be fairly sure that their Medicare outpatient claims are inappropriate if payments exceed charges, judging by the results of one recent Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit. The OIG identified 14 Medicare outpatient payments to Swedish Medical Center - Cherry Hill in Seattle where paid amounts were $500 or above charges during calendar years 2004 through 2007. All 14 claims were inappropriate, says the OIG. On six claims, the errors didn't affect the payment amount, but eight claims included $102,690 in overpayments to the hospital. Report

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