Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Medicare’s Disproportionate Fraud Rate

Mark Mandell, Esq.

It is difficult to truly understand the enormous fraud problem in the Medicare system.  To put it in perspective, look at the fraud rates of other industries:

             Credit card industry fraud - 0.04%.
            JPMorgan & Chase Co. fraud - 0.6%.
Medicare?  It has a fraud rate of 8.5%.  Incredibly, Medicare and Medicaid fraud totals a whopping $60 billion annually.  That’s $60 billion taxpayer dollars not providing care to seniors but instead lining the pockets of criminals.

U.S. Representative Peter Roskam from Chicago has introduced a bill into Congress (HR 2305) that aims to update the Medicare system to combat fraudulent behavior and improper payments.

Some of the changes introduced in Rep. Roskam’s bill include updating the Medicare payment system.  Currently, the money goes out the door without any rigorous fraud checks.  The proposed change is modeled after the credit card industry – Medicare claims would go through two separate and distinct fraud checks at the beginning and the end of the process.  These checks occur before the money is paid out.
Additionally, the bill makes changes to reduce incidents of “dead” doctors prescribing drugs and increasing criminal penalties.  The bill also encourages increased education for seniors to identify and report fraud in the system.  Lastly, the bill increases communication between the Medicare and Medicaid systems to bolster security and fight improper payments.

With so many Americans paying into the Medicare system and the prospect of that system going bankrupt as early as 2026, we can’t afford to needlessly pay out $60 billion per year to criminals.  Changes, like those introduced by Rep. Roskam, need to be made to bring Medicare back on track.

If you have questions about Medicare or other types of fraud, contact the experienced team of fraud experts at Fausone Bohn, LLP at (248) 380-0000 or online at


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