Seven Medicare doctors collected more than $10 million from the government insurance program in 2013, new data posted online shows.
Most of these high-end billers didn’t actually taken home all the money, as much of it funded expensive drugs for cancer or rare diseases they provided to their patients. But that wasn’t the case for the second- and third-highest-paid doctors, who are being investigated for fraudulent charges.
Florida cardiologist Asad Qamar, who is being sued by the Department of Justice, billed Medicare $46 million but was paid one-third of that sum—and almost none of it was drug-related. Salomon Melgen — a West Palm Beach ophthalmologist recently indicted alongside Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. in a corruption case — billed Medicare $25 million and collected a little more than half that sum.
These high-end billers are just a tiny fraction of the 950,000 healthcare providers who received checks from Medicare in 2013. Most doctors received considerably less, with the average payment around $74,000.