Blue Cross Saves Money Through Anti-Fraud Measures
By "stepping up [its] war on health care fraud," the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association recovered or saved more than $130 million from fraud settlements in 1999 and 2000, the Chicago Tribune reports. The association, which represents 46 of the nation's "Blues insurers," conducted its first nationwide fraud study since 1994 in an effort to increase awareness about fraud among member plans, which cover 79 million Americans. Blue Cross also has started a workshop program in Washington, D.C., to educate plans about ways to detect fraud. While the association estimates that only 1%-3% of providers "are known to be involved in illegal activity," it is concerned that fraud could grow as "the industry becomes a larger part of the economy." David Ignatius, director of the association's anti-fraud unit, said, "We are trying to protect our consumers through detection, education and prevention of health care fraud through more meetings, fraud alerts and memos. We want to be a central contact for law enforcement" (Jaspen, Chicago Tribune, 3/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.