Improper payments rate drops for 4th straight year

Friday - 12/20/2013, 6:12pm EST

This just in late on Friday from OMB, the improper payment rate dropped to 3.54 percent in 2013 from 3.74 percent in 2012.

A new blog post by OMB Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert said the rate in 2009 when President Obama came into office was 5.42 percent, meaning the rate dropped almost 2 percent in five years.

"Over the past year, we reduced improper payment rates in major programs across the government, including Medicaid, Medicare Advantage (Part C), Unemployment Insurance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - Food Stamps), Pell Grants, and two Social Security programs — Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance," Cobert wrote. "Furthermore, agencies recovered more than $22 billion in overpayments through payment recapture audits and other methods in FY 2013."

Agencies have been using data analytics and innovative approaches such as recovery auditing, to reduce improper payments.

Cobert said OMB is expanding the use of innovative approaches.

"OMB has also begun conducting a comprehensive analysis of agency-specific corrective actions to identify programs with the highest return-on-investment or potential for substantially reducing improper payments," she said. "This analysis will help shape guidance on improper payments to be released in the months ahead."

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This story is a part of Jason Miller's Inside the Reporter's Notebook feature. Read more from this week's edition.