Medicare Fraud Endangers Patient Health
Not only is Medicare fraud bankrupting the country, but it also endangers patients health. NYTimes tells the story of a man who received the wrong motorized chair – a shoddier, more dangerous chair than the one he had ordered – due to fraud. The Times explains the financial and health care costs:
Medicare abuse and fraud like this costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or C.M.S., estimated that in 2010, the two programs together made more than $65 billion in improper federal payments. An April 2012 study by a RAND Corporation analyst and former C.M.S. administrator estimated that fraud and abuse cost Medicare and Medicaid as much as $98 billion in 2011.
In addition to the cost, Medicare fraud can jeopardize patients’ health. Mr. Gilman, for instance, could have been stuck with an inappropriate and potentially dangerous motorized chair. In other cases, patients cannot get the care they need because fraudulent charges have exhausted their allotment of Medicare benefits….
Officials are also noticing a huge increase in problems in the home health care and hospice areas. For instance, some Medicare recipients are persuaded to sign up for “free” massages in their homes, and Medicare is fraudulently billed for physical therapy. Or, unscrupulous doctors approve patients for hospice care who are not terminally ill and may be experiencing something as minor as recent weight loss.
Another type of Medicare Fraud is subjecting patients to unnecessary tests and treatment. A patient may have a mild condition but nonetheless be treated and tested just so the provider can bill Medicare. This in turn negatively effects patient health.
With a new focus on anti-fraud efforts, the government recovered a record $4.1 billion in 2011.
Do you have information about Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, or Pharmaceutical fraud? A Medicare whistleblower attorney can help you determine whether you have a case and can guide you through the steps that need to be taken. Call 1-877-255-2676 today or contact us.