Report: Medicare Unable To Keep Up With Data Demands

Big surprise


ALEXANDRIA — On the eve of an historic expansion in the federal government's role in the healthcare, a new report finds Medicare overwhelmed by new medical provider information and unable to police its existing databases against the fraudulent use of taxpayer money.

An inspector general's report released last week found that the data systems used to catalog the records of Medicare providers were riddled with inaccurate or incomplete information.  When compared, 97 percent of files studied were inconsistent.

The report, released by the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general, focused on two Medicare databases that manage important provider information, the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) and the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).