Coburn releases report showing widespread waste in Medicare system.

Today, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. highlighted two new reports from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General that show Medicare paid millions to dead doctors, dead beneficiaries, undocumented workers and illegal aliens.

The reports show Medicare wasted $23 million in care on the deceased in 2011, $25 million on dead doctors between 2009-2011, and $29 million for prescription drugs to more than 4,000 unlawfully present beneficiaries between 2009-2011.

“Awarding benefits to the deceased is dead wrong,” Dr. Coburn said. “I am particularly concerned about this latest development because, despite being notified of this problem five years ago, the administration continues to pay dead doctors.

Every individual wrongfully awarded benefits, be it the deceased or undocumented, diverts scarce resources away from those who need it most.

That is why Chairman Carper and I introduced the Improper Payments Agency Cooperation Enhancements Act, which enhances coordination between agencies with anti-fraud and waste mechanisms that will curtail this egregious practice.

Congress should pass this bill without delay. At the same time, the administration must take action to work with all agencies to ensure those who do not qualify for benefits do not receive them.”