KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

IMPROVE Bill Seeks To Fight Medicare Fraud

Lawmakers push bill to fight Medicare fraud as part of health reform legislation.

Minnesota Public Radio reports: "Sen. Amy Klobuchar, [D-Minn.] says she hopes to include legislation to prevent Medicare fraud in the health reform bill being debated in Washington. Klobuchar is co-sponsoring a bill, called the IMPROVE Act (Improving Medicare and Medicaid Policy for Reimbursements through Oversight and Efficiency), that would require Medicare providers to be paid through direct deposit. Klobuchar says that would help stop sham clinics and doctors from billing Medicare for fake care." MPR notes: "Lawmakers say electronic payments would require providers to have bank accounts. That would mean account holders would have to provide identification, which would allow the government to better track Medicare payments" (Nelson, 7/28).

From Pennsylvania, the Bucks County Courier Times reports: "Congressman Patrick Murphy, D-8, along with co-sponsors Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Rep. Mike Arcuri, D-N.Y., and Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., on Tuesday unveiled the bipartisan bill that would close the check cashing, laundering loophole. ... As an additional benefit to taxpayers, the bill would reduce costs associated with printing and mailing provider payments, health care providers would get their money faster, and anti-money-laundering laws could be applied in fraud cases, Kolbuchar said" (Ciavaglia, 7/29).

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