Medicare rule allows payment for prescriptions up to 32 days after a person dies

October 31, 2014 5:51 PM

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WASHINGTON — Call it drugs for the departed: A quirky bureaucratic rule led Medicare's prescription drug program to pay for costly medications even after the patients were dead.

A report released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department's inspector general said the Medicare rule allows payment for prescriptions filled up to 32 days after a patient's death — at odds with the program's basic principles, not to mention common sense.

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