NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by David Becker

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Working Papers

August 2004Detecting Medicare Abuse
with Daniel Kessler, Mark McClellan: w10677
This paper identifies which types of patients and hospitals have abusive Medicare billings that are responsive to law enforcement. For a 20 percent random sample of elderly Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized from 1994-98 with one or more of six illnesses that are prone to abuse, we obtain longitudinal claims data linked with Social Security death records, hospital characteristics, and state/year-level anti-fraud enforcement efforts. We show that increased enforcement leads certain types of types of patients and hospitals to have lower billings, without adverse consequences for patients' health outcomes.

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