Corporate Compliance

CMS, OIG: Medicare fraud still costs country billions each year

Compliance Monitor, April 25, 2007

Abuse of the Medicare system is costing the federal government billions of dollars each year, according to testimony given by federal officials last week during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Acting CMS Administrator Leslie Norwalk testified that, "The fraudulent business practices of unscrupulous durable medical equipment, orthotics, prosthetics and supplies suppliers continue to cost the Medicare program billions of dollars," and added that CMS "has seen a marked increase in fraud and abuse activities over the past few years that can be directly tied to provider enrollment issues."

Other examples of fraud include paying kickbacks to physicians who prescribe high-cost wheelchairs when lower-cost equipment would be just as effective, and filing Medicare claims for equipment never delivered, nor needed.

Listen to an audio webcast of this hearing.

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