Medicaid Medicare Your Coverage Options

Beware of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and, if you see it, report it

Written by Diane Archer

Medicare fraud is prevalent. It wastes billions of dollars and drives up health care costs. It comes in all varieties but generally involves bills to Medicare for services that were never provided. You can help identify and report it to the Office of the Inspector General or Medicare if your doctor or hospital bills reflect services you never received.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced charges against 243 people, including more than three dozen doctors and nurses, for participating in $712 million in Medicare and Medicaid fraud through inappropriate billings. In some cases, services were unnecessary and in others they were never performed.

In this instance, fraud schemes involved a range of services, including home care, psychotherapy, physical therapy, durable medical equipment and pharmacy fraud.

Since the inception of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) in 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations have charged more than 2,300 people with falsely billing Medicare for more than $7 billion.

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