Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Report targets Medicaid prescription-drug abuse

President Obama's argument that health-care reform can elimiante millions of dollars in government waste received a boost with a report from the Government Accountability Office that found widespread Medicaid prescription-drug abuse in five large states, costing an estimated $65 million in 2006 and 2007. The report found thousands of prescriptions written for dead patients and by people posing as doctors, Kathy Kiely of USA Today reports. The audit was sone in California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina and Texas. Prescription-drug abuse is also prevalent in some rural regions outside those states.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., who scheduled a hearing for Wednesday on the findings, called the report "an enormous opportunity to save money." Carper told Kiely that after you add bills for doctors' visits and Medicaid fraud in the states not included in the report "We're talking hundreds of millions of dollars."

All the news wasn't good for Obama's press for a government role in health insurance, as the report also found numerous shortcomings in how the government runs Medicaid. The audit focused on 10 types of frequently abused prescription drugs, mostly painkillers and mood-altering medications. It found 65,000 cases where Medicaid users visited six or more doctors and up to 46 different pharmacies to acquire prescriptions, Kiely reports. It also found 65 doctors or pharmacists writing prescriptions after being banned from Medicaid, and about 1,800 prescriptions written to dead patients and 1,200 "written" by dead doctors. (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have found that Medicade in Idaho has dropped inexpensive medications for ones that cost 500 percent more. I refuse to burden the taxpayers with this kind of fraud to pad the Pharmecutical stocks. It is obscene. Report to the police about the fraudulent prescription users, but you need to pay attention to the hundreds of millions the pharmecutical companies are ripping off the American Taxpayers! I have written to Idaho Medicade, the governor, newspapers, and no one will answer me. I am not stopping and I am mad as hell.