Friday, July 21, 2017
10% Of Medicare Budget Goes To Fraud And Billing Mistakes
Recently, the Justice Department arrested over 400 people for medical care fraud. This is a particularly heinous crime, since most of that fraud was in the Medicare program -- the program dedicated to making sure that senior Americans have adequate medical care. If found guilty, I hope these people receive very stiff fines and prison sentences.
But the truth is that these arrests are only a drop in the bucket when it comes to Medicare fraud and abuse. It is estimated that from 10% to 11% of the Medicare budget is eaten up by fraud, waste, or over-billing. That's tens of billion dollars each year.
I think both Democrats and Republicans can agree that this is unacceptable. But it won't be fixed by just cutting Medicare funding (as the Republicans would love to do). We need to have better bookkeeping and accountability systems by the government, and more vigorous enforcement of Medicare laws and regulations by the Justice Department.
Here is just part of a good article on this issue by Fred Schultz for Kaiser Health News and the Center for Public Integrity: