President Trump lambastes Twitter, Google and other technology giants for what he claims as their efforts to repress his messaging.US Economyread more
JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon says student lending "is a disgrace and it's hurting America."Economyread more
Mnuchin tells CNBC he's confident President Trump and China's Xi Jinping can make progress in stalled trade talks.World Economyread more
The first debates will give most of the contenders their biggest platform yet to present themselves to the American people.Politicsread more
Underneath the impressive market rally is a trend that doesn't seem quite right, according to J.P. Morgan.Marketsread more
The stock market is shrinking for several key reasons, but there's a way for investors to maneuver it, says Citi Research strategist Robert Buckland.Trading Nationread more
The Supreme Court refused to overturn a precedent that strengthened the power of government regulators in a closely watched case that could have had broad ramifications for...Politicsread more
President Trump says "I hope we don't" have a war with Iran but it "would not last very long."Politicsread more
Stocks rose on Wednesday as comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin lifted expectations of a potential trade deal between China and the U.S.Marketsread more
Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet Saturday, the second day of the two-day G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.Politicsread more
A small group of companies have gotten so big that they are essentially becoming the market, and when they do well, the markets do well.Trader Talk with Bob Pisaniread more
Somebody get these check-writers a doctor.
The federal government often paid the wrong amount of money for patients covered by popular Medicare Advantage health plans, with most of those errors leading to overpayments, according to a series of audits disclosed Friday.
Read MoreObamacare sends uninsured rate lower
The error rate for payments of more than 1,000 patients in Medicare Advantage plans was reportedly nearly two out of every three, leading to $3.3 million in incorrect payouts, the audits found.
The five audits also found that 80 percent of important "risk scores" for patients—which determines how much the government pays Medicare Advantage plans for their customers—were too high, the Center for Public Integrity reported in a story published Friday. The Center for Public Integrity is a non-partisan, non-profit investigative news organization.
CPI's story also said that "auditors could not confirm one-third of the 3,950 medical conditions that health plans reported, mostly because records lacked sufficient documentation of a diagnosis."
Read MoreWhy Obamacare is here to stay
CPI said the overpayments totaled thousands of dollars a year for some patients.
All of the audits looked at payments the government made in 2007 to Medicare Advantage plans run by Aetna Health in New Jersey, Independence Blue Cross in metropolitan Philadelphia, Lovelace Health Plan in Albuquerque, Humana's Care Plus Plan in south Florida and UnitedHealth Group's PacificCare in Washington state.
Medicare Advantage plans now cover almost 17 million people, or one-third of all Medicare-eligible people at an annual cost of nearly $146 billion. In the program, which is also known as Medicare Part C, people are enrolled in health plans run by private insurers, but the Medicare system's trust funds pays the plans a fixed amount each month for the customers.
CPI had previously reported on PacificCare's audit. But the new story comes after CPI obtained a court order mandating disclosure of the other four audits as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the group.
None of the health plans contacted by CPI commented on the audits findings.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in response to CPI's story, said, "Reducing improper payments in Medicare Advantage is a top priority for CMS," and also noted that $3.4 million had been recovered by the agency from the five plans mentioned in the report as a result of the audits.
"Since we began measuring and reporting an improper payment rate for Part C, the improper payment rate due to over- and underpayments from inaccurate diagnosis data submitted by Medicare Advantage organizations has declined from approximately 15 percent in [fiscal year] 2009 to approximately 9 percent in FY 2014, 6 percent if you exclude underpayments," a CMS spokesman said.
"While this trend is in the right direction, it is critical that we continue to build on this success."
The agency also noted that plans are subjected to liability under the federal False Claims Act if they do not report and repay overpayments they identify, and that Medicare Advantage plans have returned about $1.5 billion in overpayments for the years 2006 through 2013.