Public Health: Auditing the Doctors


As Medicare marked its third birth day last week, its growing pains were all too evident. Both Medicare, the fed erally financed program that pays hos pital bills for all Americans over 65, and the related Medicaid, which is financed jointly by Washington and the states and assists the poor of all ages, have been plagued by huge cost underestimates, administrative tangles and messy scandals. Now doctors who treat patients under both programs will have to contend with the Internal Revenue Service and Senate investigators.

In Washington last week, as the Senate Finance Committee began hearings into alleged abuses, Chairman...

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