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Thursday, December 18, 2014, 5:34 a.m.
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Medicare database reveals top-paid doctors

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 9, 2014 at 9:58 a.m.

WASHINGTON — Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million.

Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

Topping Medicare's list was Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whose relationship with Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., made headlines last year after news broke that the lawmaker used the doctor's personal jet for trips to the Dominican Republic.

Medicare paid Melgen $20.8 million. His lawyer said the doctor's billing conformed with Medicare rules and is a reflection of high drug costs.

AP's analysis found that a small sliver of the more than 825,000 individual physicians in Medicare's claims data base — just 344 physicians — took in top dollar, at least $3 million apiece for a total of nearly $1.5 billion.

AP picked the $3 million threshold because that was the figure used by the Health and Human Services inspector general in an audit last year that recommended Medicare automatically scrutinize total billings above a set level. Medicare says it's working on that recommendation.

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TGRANNY says... April 9, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.

Really, what is the significance of mentioning the doctor`s relationship with the senator and the senator or the doctor riding on one another`s private plane or jet. What is the relevance to how much he received in medicare payments and the plan ride. Are you insinuating that he is doing or that he has done medicare fraud to pay for the private jet. A large number of people on medicare are either elderly, disabled, sickly or in constant pain. We are trying to conduct a research on Medicare and find out how to use Medicare honestly and to our great advantage, we do not care about the senator riding on the doctor`s personal jet.

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cliffcarson says... April 9, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.


Because that sum of $20.8 Million means that the good doctor was pulling down about $10,000 per hour for the entire year per a normal working day.

Do you think he should be investigated?

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cliffcarson says... April 9, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.


And the $1.5 Billion raked in by the 344 doctors took $1,948 dollars from every family in the United States of America last year. That's another way to look at it. Do you think we should call for an investigation?

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