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Loss of Inspectors Kills FL Audit

An audit of durable medical equipment suppliers in South Florida -- where Medicare and Medicaid fraud are widely suspected -- has been canceled because of budget cuts to the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Public Integrityreports.

The agency has been in a hiring freeze since February 2012 and has offered two rounds of buyouts and early retirements this year, Fred Schulte of the Center reports.  Automatic funding cuts by Congress -- called "sequestration" -- also played a role.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.