GAO report explores health care fraud
Posted on October 9, 2012 | No Comments
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has designated Medicare and Medicaid as high-risk programs partly because their size and complexity make them vulnerable to fraud. GAO was asked to provide information on the types of providers that are the subjects of fraud cases. The resulting GAO report identifies provider types who were the subjects of fraud cases in (1) Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP that were handled by federal agencies, and changes in the types of providers in 2005 and 2010; and (2) Medicaid and CHIP fraud cases that were handled by Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs). To identify subjects of fraud cases handled by federal agencies, GAO combined data from three agency databases and removed duplicate subject data. GAO also reviewed public court records, such as indictments, to identify subjects’ provider types. To describe providers involved in fraud cases handled by the MFCUs, GAO collected aggregate data from 10 state MFCUs, which represented the majority of fraud investigations, indictments, and convictions nationwide.
According to data GAO collected from 10 state Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU), over 40 percent of the 2,742 subjects investigated for health care fraud in Medicaid and CHIP in 2010 were home health care providers and health care practitioners. Of the criminal cases pursued by these MFCUs, home health care providers comprised nearly 40 percent of criminal convictions and 45 percent of subjects sentenced in 2010. Civil health care fraud cases pursued by these MFCUs in 2010 resulted in judgments and settlements totaling nearly $829 million. Pharmaceutical manufacturers were to pay more than 60 percent ($509 million) of the total amount of civil judgments and settlements.
- individuals asking consumers for money to enroll in Marketplaces or Obamacare;
- sham or look-a-like websites;
- persistent, high-pressure solicitation to purchase insurance; and
- individuals asking consumers for personally identifiable information without previous contact.