CONNECT WITH:

By Fred Schulte, The Center for Public Integrity

HHS headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo: Matt Bisanz/Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of doctors across the country are billing Medicare for routine medical care at rates far above their peers, potentially costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in overcharges, according to a new government report.

The audit released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General stopped short of accusing the high-billing doctors of ripping off the government health plan for the elderly. But it stated that Medicare’s payment scales for doctors have been “vulnerable to fraud and abuse” in recent years.