Medicare Gets $8 for Every $1 Spent on Fighting Fraud
The federal government recovers $8 for every tax dollar spent fighting health care fraud under the False Claims Act, according to a report sponsored by the group Taxpayers Against Fraud, Public Radio International's "Marketplace Morning Report" reports. Originally aimed at Civil War contractors who shipped barrels of sand to the military instead of gunpowder, the False Claims Act was tightened by Congress in the 1980s and has been used increasingly against Medicare abusers, "Marketplace" reports. The law allows whistleblowers to recoup up to 25% of funds collected by the government, and critics claim that such incentives -- as well as "complex government billing rules" -- encourage lawsuits "over technical violations that are not really fraud." But TAF President James Mooreman said the False Claims Act "clearly serves the public good," adding, "We wanted to do this so the record was clear what the act had accomplished." "Marketplace" notes that recently introduced legislation would give companies up to a year to change their billing practices before lawsuits could be filed (Richard, PRI, "Marketplace Morning Report," 10/1). The report is available at http://www.taf.org/publications/PDF/reducing.pdf. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the report.