Taxpayers Overpaid for 82 Percent of Medicare Chiropractor Bills

Published May 31, 2017

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.

Internet Info:

Stephen Barrett, “Medicare Overpayments to Chiropractors are Widespread,” American Council on Science and Health, January 2, 2017.

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