Audits done by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service show that Medicare Advantage has been overbilling caused by problems with reimbursement for services. (Photo: iStock)

Plans overseen by insurers through Medicare Advantage, the private sector alternative to Medicare, the enormous public health program for the nation’s elderly, are coming under criticism for a pattern of “pervasive overcharging.”

Audits by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of 37 Medicare Advantage plans in 2007 found that many of them overbilled the federal government, often by exaggerating the severity of a patient’s condition.

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