The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that in 2013 it improperly spent about $65 billion in taxpayer funds through waste, errors, and fraud, a figure that was primarily fueled by an estimated $60 billion in overpayments to Medicare and Medicaid.
According to the HHS FY 2013 financial report releasedin mid-December, last year HHS improperly spent a total of $65.3 billion under all its programs, an increase from the $64.8 billion misspent in 2012.
Erroneous payments by Medicare increased by almost 12 percent, from around $44.3 billion in 2012 to almost $49.9 billion in 2013. That means that last year, nearly $1 out of every $10 spent on Medicare beneficiaries was doled out by mistake.
Conversely, Medicaid saw a substantial decrease in payment errors of about 25 percent, down from about $19.2 billion in 2012 to $14.4 billion in 2013.