KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Law Enforcement Officials Seek, Find Medicare Fraud

The Palm Beach Post: To pay for the health reform bill, Medicare fraud is "ripe for plucking, top South Florida prosecutors say."

"In 2008, of all the Medicare payouts for home health care services nationwide, over 50 percent were shelled out in Miami-Dade. That was despite the fact that only 2 percent of patients receiving such federally-funded care in the U.S. live in the county. Much of the billing was fraudulent."

"Critics argue that trimming Medicare by $500 billion is unrealistic and benefits will suffer if that amount is cut. But [U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Jeffrey] Sloman does not find the figure farfetched. … The best way to reduce Medicare fraud and waste, he says, is to scrutinize claims more closely before they are paid" (Lantigua, 3/31).

The Houston Chronicle: Local doctor Christina Clardy is facing feceral charges she fraudulently billed Medicare for services that never happened.  "The federal indictments linking her to the alleged physical therapy scam are more examples of a law enforcement crackdown on health care fraud locally … According to investigators, City Nursing did not employ a single licensed physical therapist despite billing for millions of dollars in therapy services from 2007 to 2009 … As supervisor of this clinic, Clardy is accused of conspiring to commit health care fraud and mail fraud by failing to provide or supervise any physical therapy that was falsely reported to have occurred there, the U.S. Attorney's Office said." The Chronicle said Clardy could not be reached for comment (Horswell, 3/30).

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