With 10 percent or $6 billion a year of traditional fee-for-service payments being improper, federal officials are cracking down. Repeat offenders will face stiffer fines and could potentially be barred from participating in any federal health programs.
According to Robert Pear's article in the New York Times, investigators claim "most of the high-billing doctors specialize in internal medicine, radiation oncology or ophthalmology." This doesn't mean other specialty physicians aren't doing the same thing. Due to these astounding numbers, Mr. Pear noted the Obama administration has jettisoned an Act that had previously prohibited the release of federal data that shows how much Medicare paid individual physicians per year. The American Society for Radiation Oncology fears the release of this data may be distorted because of the high internal costs of running an oncology or radiology practice.
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