$60 Billion A Year In Medicare Fraud, Where Does That Number Come From?

money-pile.jpg In a Sixty Miutes piece on Medicare Fraud, reviewed by the HCFBlog here, Steve Kroft claimed the government loses $60 Billion to health care fraud. The piece, otherwise quite good, then goes on to describe some of what we have been documenting here. However, the $60 Billion dollar a year health care fraud number used on Sixty Minutes and now making the rounds doesn’t seem to have roots in any actual data. The figure, first attributed to US DOJ Heathcare fraud prosecutor Kirk Ogrosky, started getting pretty mushy when a reporter tried to get to the actual source. The reporter, Pierre Tristam, soon found numbers ranging from $13 Billion to $68 Billion all using a perception that a certain percentage of health care spending must be fraud rather than some actual data on the fraud.
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