GAO: Thousands of Medicaid providers haven't paid taxes

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concludes that thousands of healthcare providers who haven't paid federal taxes are still collecting millions from Medicaid. The GAO, which looked at Medicaid providers in seven states, found that about 30,000 of them (or about 5 percent) owed federal taxes, largely payroll taxes they withheld but never paid in to the IRS. All told, the providers owed about $1 billion, according to GAO estimates. GAO researchers project that if the government had a system in place to tap Medicaid reimbursement payments, the government would have been able to reclaim $70 million to $160 million for the 2006 fiscal year alone. CMS, for its part, has told the GAO that establishing such a system could undercut access to care for the poor.

To learn more about the GAO report:
- read this piece from The Washington Post

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