The average Medicare beneficiary living with HIV/AIDS in South Florida in the second half of 2006 had nine times more Medicare claims than HIV-positive beneficiaries nationwide, according to a report released this week by the HHS Office of Inspector General, the South Florida Business Journal reports. Federal health authorities attributed the difference to fraud in billing practices, according to the Business Journal.
Although only 10% of HIV-positive people enrolled in Medicare live in South Florida's Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, providers in those counties billed Medicare for $487 million in HIV/AIDS-related claims during the last six months of 2006, compared with $489 million in claims for the rest of the country, the Business Journal reports.
The claims from the three counties accounted for 79% of all claims nationwide for infusion drug treatments for HIV/AIDS, the report found.
In addition, the report found that claims for drug treatments represented 16% of all claims submitted on behalf of HIV-positive beneficiaries nationwide but that such claims represented 61% of HIV-positive beneficiaries' claims in South Florida.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation