Federal agencies made $125 billion in improper payments in 2014

A new report by Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of US Congress has revealed about new record set by Federal agencies for last year's improper payments.

The report showed the level of improper payments was a new high after several years of declines.

Federal agencies made USD 125 in billion improper payments in 2014 including tax credits to people who didn't qualify Medicare payments for unnecessary treatments, and unemployment benefits for people who were actually working.

As per the report, the improper payments rose by USD 19 billion over the previous year. In addition to fraud, the errors included overpayments and underpayments as well payments made with improper documentation.

The Obama administration said government's top priority should be to lower the improper federal payments.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Committee on US Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said, "This taxpayer money was not spent securing our borders, it was not spent on national defense, and it was not spent contributing to a safety net for those in need". He added that this problem will get much worse year in future if they didn't handle it now.

Although the errors were spread among 22 federal agencies, there programs that stood out were Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The three programs alone accounted for over USD 93 billion in improper payments.

Improper Medicare's payments to doctors and hospitals payments were $46 billion, which were caused by insufficient documentation for home health claims and errors on medical necessity forms for hospital patients.

A committee presided by Johnson held a hearing on Monday on cutting down the rate of improper payments by the US government agencies.

Johnson's committee head a hearing to cut down the rate of improper payments by the US government agencies by improving death records maintained by the Social Security Administration.

United States
Ron Johnson