Defrauding Medicare And Medicaid With Ease
November 3, 1995
One estimate states that fraud and abuse cost Medicare and Medicaid about $33 billion each year. Worse, it's ridiculously easy to cheat the federal government and taxpayers out of millions of Medicare and Medicaid dollars, according to three convicted felons appearing yesterday before a Senate panel.
- One witness described how she acquired $7 million by charging $5 to $7 for gauze surgical dressings that cost a penny each.
- A former nightclub owner revealed that he made millions after he obtained a Medicare license - without a background check - and proceeded to open a crooked home health agency, charging Medicare $86 for each home visit while paying a nurse $16 to $22.
- An ex-physician told how he sold prescriptions to junkies in a Los Angeles Medicaid mill.
- Another shakedown practice consisted of submitting bills - $300,000 worth in one case - for treatment of dead patients.
Anti-fraud language in the Senate Medicare and Medicaid legislation would make health care fraud a crime, increase fines and make it easier to kick fraudulent providers out of the system.
Source: Nancy E. Roman and other dispatches, "Medicare Scam Veterans Tell Panel How Easy It Was to Cheat," Washington Times, November 3, 1995.
Browse more articles on Health Issues