Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Private Sleuths Take Time Referring Fraud Cases To Medicare
The Associated Press: While President Barack Obama "has set a high priority on battling health care fraud and waste" in Medicare, private contractors are slow in referring cases to law enforcement. "According to congressional investigators, the exact average was 178 days [to refer the case for prosecution]. By that time, many cases go cold ... 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," while Medicare overpayments "totaled more than $36 billion in 2009, according to the Obama administration" (Zaldivar, 8/8).
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