ObamaCare implementation agency paid out $23 million on behalf of dead people

The agency responsible for implementing ObamaCare erroneously paid out millions of dollars on behalf of dead people in 2011, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) paid $23 million to providers, suppliers, Medicare Advantage organizations and prescription drug plan sponsors on behalf of beneficiaries who died between 2009 and 2011, the OIG found.

That’s less than one-tenth of one percent of total Medicare expenditures, and the report says CMS “has safeguards to prevent and recover” those payments.

The OIG offered a handful of recommendations, such as taking action against providers and suppliers that had high numbers of claims with service dates after a beneficiary’s death, as a way to minimize further inappropriate payments.

CMS said it concurs with all the OIG’s recommendations and is committed to preventing and recovering the payments.

"Agency actions are underway, and in the areas where noted, we are working with law enforcement and other federal agencies, including OIG, to protect the Medicare program, the people using its benefits and services, and using additional resources made available under the Affordable Care Act to detect and prevent fraud from taking place," a CMS representative told The Hill in a statement.

— This report was updated at 12:27 p.m.