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Study reveals nearly 4,000 Medicare millionaires

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(Bloomberg) -– A small group of doctors accounted for a large chunk of Medicare payments once again, data released today by the U.S. government show.

Medicare paid at least 3,900 individual health care providers at least $1 million in 2013, according to a Bloomberg analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Overall, the agency said it released data on $90 billion in payments to 950,000 individual providers and organizations. Five of the doctors received more than $10 million.

The United States has been increasing transparency for Medicare, which accounts for the largest portion of federal spending after defense and Social Security. The feds also released information today about Medicare payments to hospitals and outpatient facilities.

Monday’s data exclude the privately run program known as Medicare Advantage, which accounted for about 30 percent of beneficiaries last year, and the drug prescription benefits of Medicare Part D. Payments in the drug program were released for the first time earlier this year.

Some payments were sent to organizations rather than individuals. There are about 897,000 active physicians in the United States, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.