September 27, 2011

focus on the fraud

just a quick little post to tell you about an op-ed in the NYT about how medicaid and medicare (not to mention all of us taxpayers who pay for these programs) are swindled out of billions of dollars each year because of health insurance fraud.  this editorial calls for the US and state governments to crack down on these false claims, securing the collapsing system from at least one side.  I like it.

from the article:

But before charging consumers more and eliminating valuable services, we should be much more aggressive in recovering money stolen from these taxpayer-supported programs. According to some estimates, health care fraud is a $250 billion-a-year industry, and about $100 billion of that is stolen from Medicare, the health care program for the elderly, and Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor and disabled.
There are many ways to defraud taxpayers. For example, a hospital chain can buy drugs at a steep discount and then bill Medicare for high sticker prices. Doctors can bill for procedures that never happened, or for drugs that were supplied to them by pharmaceutical companies free of charge, or pharmaceutical companies can promote a drug for risky, unapproved uses.
Recovering billions of dollars from these ruses won’t solve the problem of rising health care costs, but it’ll go a long way in helping to reduce waste and protect services.

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