Senators seek dedicated fraud prevention office

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WASHINGTON – AAHomecare supports a new bill aimed at combating Medicare fraud, it told members in a bulletin this week.

The Prevent Health Care Fraud Act of 2009, introduced Oct. 29 by Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., would create a healthcare fraud prevention office, headed up by a deputy secretary appointed to a five-year term by the president.

The bill, S. 2128, would also require background checks for new Medicare suppliers, as well as site visits during the enrollment process and unannounced site visits during the re-enrollment process.

Additionally, the bill would require the government to implement proven technologies to red-flag questionable Medicare and Medicaid charges. In the credit card industry, this kind of "predictive modeling" keeps fraud losses to about 7 cents for every $100 dollars transacted, stated LeMieux in a release.

When LeMieux served as Deputy Attorney General of Florida, he worked with the Medicaid Fraud Unit, increasing recoveries from $6 million to $100 million in just three years, according to the release.

The bill currently has seven co-sponsors.