Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) unveiled bipartisan legislation to fight Medicare fraud at a Chicago-area event with senior citizens at ManorCare Health Services in Elk Grove today. Medicare fraud is conservatively estimated to cost taxpayers $50 billion annually, which is 10% of the total cost of Medicare.
Roskam's bipartisan reform solution, the Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act (FAST Act), would strengthen Medicare by shifting Medicare's "pay-and-chase" payment system to one -- modeled after credit card industry fraud-prevention tactics -- utilizing predicative modeling technology to prevent paying fraudulent Medicare claims.
"At a time when the federal government is borrowing 40 cents on every dollar and Medicare fraud is costing America's elderly a staggering $50 billion annually, it's hard to overstate the need for reform," Roskam said after the ManorCare Health Service event. "The solution introduced in the House today would put in place valuable preventative fraud-check measures to strengthen Medicare, saving taxpayers billions. Stopping Medicare fraud won't be the cure-all of our country's fiscal woes, but it is a commonsense bipartisan solution to save taxpayers billions and help strengthen Medicare."
The FAST Act is co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Carney (Del-AL). Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Tom Carper (D-Del) introduced this legislation earlier this year in the Senate. It's supported by a strong coalition of healthcare, tax and government watchdog groups, including AARP, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Taxpayers Union, America's Health Insurance Providers, National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, Illinois Policy Institute, and Emdeon.
"It's easy for politicians to talk about eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare system as a way to reduce the deficit. We need to replace that talk with action." said Rep. Carney. "The FAST Act is a real solution that addresses the problem. This bipartisan legislation will make it much harder to commit Medicare fraud, and will in turn save billions in Medicare costs without cutting benefits to seniors."
In addition to utilizing predicative modeling technology to prevent fraudulent transactions from being paid, the FAST Act would also help stop physician identity theft, enact tougher Medicare fraud penalties, and expand inter-government fraud-data sharing. While Medicare fraud is conservatively estimated at 10%, the $17-trillion credit card industry suffers just .044% fraud.