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Medicare Waste Watch report

       
Would you pay full price for half of a car, or a house? Probably not.
So, why is the u.S. Department of health and human services doing exactly that with millions of your tax dollars?

Jeff Barnd teamed up with our media partner, the Washington Times, for this Waste Watch report.

Everybody but taxpayers seems to win with Herceptin, a break through drug in treating an aggressive form of Breast Cancer. Studies show it's highly effective in saving lives.

Herceptin has been a cash cow. Some Doctors billing Medicare for the full price of half-filled vials of a drug that typically costs $5,000 a month per person.

Leslie Preuss with Inspector General's office, "Those improper billing practices cost the Medicare program millions of dollars and may have subjected cancer patients to higher co-pays."

Overbilling cost Medicare more than 24 million dollars, which is enough money to treat nearly 400 hundred women with Herceptin for an entire year.

Investigators with the Inspector General's Office discovered  Medicare had a whopping 77 percent error rate. 
Meaning it overpaid providers, Doctors and Medical facilities for Herceptin, nearly 80 percent of the time.

The Washington Times,  found in the IG's report that there's a high likelihood Doctors are overbilling Medicare for other drugs.
"There's other medication that's in multi-use vials and it's possible this problem could be present with other drugs."

The centers for Medicare and Medicaid services declined to talk to us for this story.
Investigators recouped about 17 million dollars,  but taxpayers are still on the hook for millions more.

 Medicare agreed with some but not all of the IG's findings and that, according to the Inspector General's report, means the practice lives on.