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Medicare Providers Abused Drug Database, HHS Watchdog Finds

Feb. 14, 2020, 8:53 PM

Medicare providers routinely abused a drug database system originally created to look up a patient’s drug benefits to troll for private information and marketing leads, a federal investigation found.

Private data, such as names, birthdays, and zip codes, should only be accessed when providers are checking whether a patient is covered by Medicare’s outpatient prescription drug program, called Part D, or other drug benefits. Concerns that providers were abusing the system pushed the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to investigate.

The results, released Friday, showed providers were “taking advantage of gaps” in the federal Medicare...

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