Miami Herald Recommends More Resources to Combat Health Care Fraud

MIAMI, FL (October 12, 2009) Today the editorial board of the Miami Herald weighed in on the national health care reform debate by pointing out that the current health care system – Medicaid and Medicare – has insufficient front-end mechanisms in place to detect fraud, waste and abuse and by calling for stiffer sentences saying, “unless penalties for fraudsters who steal millions of dollars are toughened so that the prison sentence is more than a legal slap, they’ll keep scamming.”
The Herald offered up some eye opening statistics. Since 2005, federal prosecutors in South Florida have charged more than 900 Medicare offenders in cases totaling more than $2 billion in fraudulent claims. Across the U.S., taxpayers are hit with $60 billion in healthcare fraud each year.
In an effort to shape national healthcare policy, the editorial urged called on the President to press for more investigators to catch abuses when claims are first filed — not down the road when government investigators and auditors eventually detect that millions have been erroneously paid out to crooks, some of whom have flown the coop.
According to The Herald, “health care reform bills [must] include more accountability, but unless there’s sufficient money to enforce the rules and nab the scammers it won’t get done right.” To read the editorial, click here.