Medicare to reduce home health payments nationwide

Miami HeraldAugust 5, 2009 

Fueled by massive fraud, home healthcare providers in Florida's Miami-Dade County are raking in more Medicare money than their colleagues in the rest of the country combined — thanks to bogus billings for patients with diabetes, authorities say.

Now, Medicare is taking tough steps to stop agencies from filing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in false claims.

The federal agency is proposing a nationwide cap that would reduce Medicare reimbursements to any agency treating homebound patients with diabetes or other chronic ailments. The proposed limit: 10 percent of the bill.

Though national in scope, Medicare's plan is really aimed at shutting down hundreds of home healthcare agencies in Miami-Dade suspected of submitting phony claims for twice-daily insulin injections by a visiting nurse, officials said.

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