Medicaid Providers Receive Billions in Reimbursements Despite Owing Back Taxes
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Tax cheats have been collecting billions of dollars from Medicaid as a result of the federal government’s failure to cut off contracts with medical providers owing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) uncovered 7,000 businesses in just three states (Florida, New York, and Texas) that owed the IRS more than $790 million but had managed to collect $6.6 billion in Medicaid reimbursements in 2009 alone.
At least 32 providers owed $1 million each while receiving over $1 million in Medicaid funds, according to the GAO report. Of the 7,000 tax cheats found by the GAO, the amount owed ranged from $100,000 to more than $6 million.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), the ranking Republican member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which requested the GAO investigation, said in a prepared statement: “People who cheat on their taxes show a clear disregard for the law so they might be more likely to defraud Medicaid, or even harm patients. GAO’s findings raise serious questions about steps that need to be taken to improve the integrity of the Medicaid program.”
A medical doctor, Coburn has introduced the Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act (S.1251), which seeks to crack down on fraud in federal healthcare programs.
To Learn More:
Medicaid Providers Received $6.6 Billion Despite Tax Debts (by Michael Cohn, Accounting Today)
MEDICAID: Providers in Three States with Unpaid Federal Taxes Received over $6 Billion in Medicaid Reimbursements (Government Accountability Office) (pdf)
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