HHS: 60 percent of DME companies banned by Medicare may keep billing

The HHS' Inspector General's office has released a report on a small study of durable medical equipment companies whose Medicare billing privileges had been revoked, and the news is not good.  As many as six in 10 of these companies may have continued billing Medicare through businesses fronted by family members or business associates.

The 10 companies sampled had a total of $8.6 million in debt that CMS had deemed uncollectible. Some of the associated companies accumulated their own debt and were also kicked out, but some continued collecting Medicare payments until the end of 2007, which was also the end of the period studied.

The report was part of an early alert memorandum. The Inspector General intends to follow up with a more in depth study.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece