Approximately 82 percent of $438 million in total payments taxpayers made to chiropractors under Medicare Part B in 2013 did not comply with Medicare requirements, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates.
Taxpayers paid an average of $6.83 in improper chiropractic bills for each of the more than 52 million Medicare enrollees that year, totaling $359 million in improper payments. Only 24 percent of payments were justified for patients treated one to 12 times for the same ailment, and only 5 percent of payments were justified for ailments supposedly requiring a 13th visit.
OIG has released similar reports of improper chiropractic payments every two years since 1986, apparently without effect.
Jay Lehr ([email protected]) is science director for The Heartland Institute.
Stephen Barrett, “Medicare Overpayments to Chiropractors are Widespread,” American Council on Science and Health, January 2, 2017.
Image via Thinkstock