Today, Congressman Peter Roskam, member of the House Ways and Means Committee, announced the creation of the Medi-Fraud Alert, a forum to discuss the massive waste, fraud and abuse in the current Medicare and Medicaid systems. Some estimates predict that healthcare fraud and abuse could be as high as $500 billion every year. 1
"Waste, fraud and abuse in our current government healthcare programs is shockingly high and places an enormous burden on both the U.S. taxpayer and our healthcare system," said Congressman Peter Roskam. "As we move forward with healthcare reform, it's simply nonsensical that we'd create an exponentially larger government-run healthcare system when our current one is plagued with such waste and fraud. When dead doctors, illegal immigrants, and convicted repeat offenders are filing medical claims, and getting paid by the U.S. taxpayer, we have an urgent problem on our hands - one that affects all Americans and requires action. The Medi-Fraud Alert will help inform the public about the severe problems in our current systems and outline ways to move forward in reforming healthcare."
The facts surrounding Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse are staggering. According to the FBI, there could be $226 billion in healthcare fraud yearly - 10% of all healthcare claims. 2 Between 2000 and 2007 alone, dead doctors were paid $92 million in Medicare claims for services or equipment ordered. 3
Medicare Fraud is so easy and rampant that the Chief Counsel to the Health and Human Services Inspector General went so far to say that "building a Medicare fraud scam is far safer than dealing in crack or dealing in stolen cars, and it's far more lucrative."4
The Medi-Fraud Alert will highlight healthcare's waste and abuse with a Medi-Fraud example of the day and highlight policy prescriptions for reforming and clamping down on this abuse. The Medi-Fraud Alert blog is also forthcoming.