About two years ago, analysts within the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General noticed a spike in health care costs revolving around workers’ compensation claims and spending on prescription drugs.
As the office’s data gurus used analytics tools and algorithms to dig into the data, they realized the increased spending was a coordinated effort between several parties attempting to fleece the government for millions of dollars. The scam focused on compound drugs, which allows multiple medications to be blended into a single pill but is billed full price for each medication.
During the nine-month period from January to September 2015, the daily cost of compound drugs for the U.S. Postal Service grew from an average of $250,000 per day to more than $390,000 daily. The agency spent almost $180 million on them in fiscal 2016. In 2013, it spent less than $10 million on the same compound drugs, reimbursing the Labor Department