Improper Medicare payments total $31B in 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) paid out approximately $31 billion in improper Medicare payments in fiscal year (FY) 2018, down from $36.2 billion in FY 2017, according to a report released by CMS last week. Of all claims paid by CMS in FY 2018, 8.12 percent were improper payments, the lowest it has been since 2010.

Improper payments include fraudulent claims, payments distributed to the wrong recipient or for the wrong amount, payments with insufficient documentation and those when the recipient uses the fund improperly.

The improvement in improper payments can be attributed to more targeted enforcement actions by CMS.