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The importance of fighting Medicare fraud

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Medicare / Medicaid Fraud

Millions of Americans, particularly the elderly and disabled, rely on the critical support Medicare provides. However, this essential service is under constant threat from fraudulent activities.

Medicare fraud drains valuable resources away from those who need them most and undermines the integrity of the healthcare system.

How does Medicare fraud happen?

Medicare fraud involves knowingly submitting false statements or misrepresentations to receive federal healthcare payments to which the individual is not entitled. It encompasses a wide range of illegal activities, such as:

  • Billing for medical services or supplies that were never provided
  • Upcoding, in which healthcare providers submit claims for more expensive procedures that were provided
  • Performing unnecessary tests or medical procedures
  • Disguising non-covered or elective procedures as medically necessary
  • Kickbacks and referral schemes
  • Falsifying patient records to justify unnecessary medical services
  • Billing Medicare for more hours than were provided or for visits that never occurred

The financial repercussions of Medicare fraud are staggering. Each year, it costs taxpayers approximately $60 billion. Fraudulent activities strain the federal budget and diminish the funds available for legitimate healthcare needs.

Medicare fraud can have dire consequences for patient care. Providers performing unnecessary procedures may subject patients to unwarranted risks and potential harm. The American public also begins to lose trust in the healthcare system. Honest providers may be unfairly overburdened with excessive regulatory compliance measures, which takes time away from providing actual patient care.

The true heroes are the people who see fraud occurring and come forward with their information. They help expose schemes that might otherwise remain hidden, saving billions of taxpayer dollars and ensuring that Medicare resources benefit patients who genuinely need care. Their role helps to uphold the highest ethical standards in healthcare.