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Examining Medicare

Medicare paid for more than 200 million office visits for established patients in 2012. Overall, health professionals classified only 4 percent as complex enough to command the most expensive rates. But 1,800 providers billed at the top level at least 90 percent of the time, a ProPublica analysis found. Experts question whether the charges are legitimate. More »

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The Obscure Drug With a Growing Medicare Tab

Experts question the effectiveness of H.P. Acthar Gel, a drug made from pigs’ pituitary glands. Yet it cost Medicare more than $141 million in 2012, up from $7 million in 2008.

Top Acthar Prescribers in Medicare Have Ties to Its Maker

The top four prescribers of the drug were promotional speakers, researchers or consultants.

Why Are Obstetricians Among the Top Billers for Group Psychotherapy in Illinois?

Illinois leads the country in group psychotherapy sessions in Medicare, and some top billers aren’t mental health specialists. The state’s Medicaid program has cracked down, but federal officials have not.

Medicare Billing Outliers Often Have Disciplinary Problems, Too

As news organizations analyze data on Medicare payments, doctors with disciplinary records keep popping up.

Ambulances for Dialysis Patients on Rise

These charts show spending by state from 2001 to 2011, compared to national averages. Sort by the most-recent year or by state.

Medicare Taken For a Ride By Ambulance Companies in New Jersey

The Garden State costs Medicare more than any other state for ambulance rides per kidney dialysis patient. A new crackdown is set to start, but at one big dialysis center, ambulances remain everywhere.

Medicare Overpays Billions for Office Visits, Patient Evaluations

The findings by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services complement a recent ProPublica review that found many doctors bill for services very differently than their peers.

How We Analyzed Medicare Part B Data

We found some doctors who billed for the most costly, most complex visits almost exclusively and charged top rates far more than their peers.

Treatment Tracker

Use this tool to find and compare providers.

Patient Guide

When choosing a doctor who's right for you, you don't have to rely exclusively on a friend's recommendation or a referral. Now you can check whether your medical provider practices similarly to his or her peers.

Top Billing: Meet the Docs who Charge Medicare Top Dollar for Office Visits

Medicare paid for more than 200 million office visits for established patients in 2012. Overall, health professionals classified only 4 percent as complex enough to command the most expensive rates. But 1,800 providers billed at the top level at least 90 percent of the time, ProPublica found.

Treatment Tracker Methodology

How we made a news app to compare doctors Medicare billing patterns.

Even After Doctors Are Sanctioned or Arrested, Medicare Keeps Paying

A ProPublica analysis of recently released data shows that dozens of physicians who received payments from Medicare in 2012 had been kicked out of Medicaid, charged with fraud, or settled claims of overbilling Medicare itself.

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