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Mass. Discovers Abuse Of Free Health Care Pool

The state Inspector General says the program that pays for medical care for uninsured Massachusetts residents is spending millions of dollars on bogus claims for ineligible patients and for medically unnecessary procedures.

Inspector General Gregory Sullivan tells the Boston Herald the state's Uncompensated Care Pool spent $414 million on emergency health care for nearly one million claims in 2009.

That included $7 million for non-Massachusetts residents, including foreign nationals; $18 million for "medically unlikely" or "medically unnecessary" claims, like foot X-rays for headaches and gynecological bills for men; and $6 million in duplicate claims.

A spokeswoman for JudyAnn Bigby, state secretary of Health and Human Services, says the agency is reviewing the report and working to eliminate waste.

The pool was established in 2006 by former Gov. Mitt Romney's health care reform law.

This program aired on March 29, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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