Tags: US | Medicare | Sleuths

Medicare's Private Eyes Let Fraud Cases Get Cold

Sunday, 08 Aug 2010 07:24 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

They don't seem that interested in hot pursuit. It took private sleuths hired by Medicare an average of six months last year to refer fraud cases to law enforcement.

According to congressional investigators, the exact average was 178 days. By that time, many cases go cold, making it difficult to catch perpetrators, much less recover money for taxpayers.

A recent inspector general report also raised questions about the contractors, who play an important role in Medicare's overall effort to combat fraud.

Out of $835 million in questionable Medicare payments identified by private contractors in 2007, the government was only able to recover some $55 million, or about 7 percent, the report found.

Medicare overpayments — they can be anything from a billing error to a flagrant scam — totaled more than $36 billion in 2009, according to the Obama administration.

President Barack Obama has set a high priority on battling health care fraud and waste, hoping for savings to help pay for the new law covering millions now uninsured.

Medicare's private eyes don't seem to be helping much.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, questions whether taxpayers are getting good value from for-hire fraud busters. His office, which is investigating the contracting program, obtained Medicare data for the last four years on how long it took to refer cases to federal agents.

"Medicare is already a pay-and-chase system when it comes to fraud, waste and abuse," said Grassley. "Providers are paid first, then questioned if there's a problem. Add to that mix contractors who sit on cases of ongoing fraud when they should be referring them to law enforcement, and you have a recipe for disaster."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Medicare Relatively Sound, Social Security Disability Shakier

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 07:37 AM

Medicare will be able to pay full hospital coverage for its clients through 2030. Social Security's disability program w . . .

Calif. Gov. Brown Takes Swipe At Perry Border Plan

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 06:46 AM

California Gov. Jerry Brown took a not-so-subtle dig at Texas' decision to deploy National Guard troops to the border, s . . .

Miss. Gov. Bryant: More Uninsured in State Due to Obamacare

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 21:13 PM

Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant blames Obamacare for the state's increase in the number of people without health . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved