Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Florida Congress Members Introduce Bill To Stiffen Medicare Fraud Laws
American Medical News: Two members of Congress from Florida, emphasizing that "criminal penalties for Medicare fraud must be updated," have introduced legislation that would "double fines, increase background checks and even study how biometric technology could help ensure the appropriate use of program services." Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Ron Klein, D-Fla., said the bill "will help crack down on Medicare fraud, protecting seniors and taxpayers alike. The lawmakers said the legislation updates two key provisions in the criminal code to fight Medicare fraud -- the false statements and anti-kickback statutes in the Social Security Act. Penalties for those violations have not been updated since 1977, and criminal conspiracies against Medicare have increased dramatically since then, they said. ... It also would create a new type of offense for illegally distributing a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary's ID or usurping someone's billing privileges, establishing a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine" (Silva, 4/29).
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