Administration expands fraud toolkit

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration plans to use a new fraud mapping tool across government agencies, starting with CMS, it announced June 18.

"We are starting our efforts at CMS since Medicare and Medicaid combined had about $65 billion in improper payments in FY2009, including about $47 billion in Medicare alone, with fraud being a contributor to this problem," the administration stated in a fact sheet.

In FY2009, total improper payments were $110 billion, the highest amount to date.

The administration describes the tool this way: "The tool gathers enormous quantities of information in real time and then analyzes the data and helps connect the dots to identify indicators of possible fraud or error."

The tool will help CMS handle the thousands of tips it receives through its 1-800-Medicare system. Additionally, the agency will use the tool, as part of a pilot project, to identify suspect providers among a list of providers in a particular geographic region of the country where fraud has been identified."

The Obama administration also plans to establish a do-not-pay list, it announced the same day. Federal agencies can use the list to check the status of a potential contractor or individual.