President Obama Cracks Down on Health Care Fraud
President Obama signed a presidential memorandum March 10 that directs all federal departments and agencies to expand and intensify their use of payment recapture audits under their current authority to crack down on waste and fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs. He also announced his support for the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, which would expand the ability of government agencies to fund the audits with recaptured payments.
The president likened his initiative to that of Medicare’s Recover Audit Contractor (RAC) pilot program.
Currently, using reclaimed funds to pay for recaptured audits is only possible for Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) program payments and for government contracts at the 20 out of 24 major government agencies that do more than $500 million in government contracting.
President Obama’s 2011 budget also devotes more than $1.8 billion for program integrity—an increase of $225 million (or 14 percent) over 2010—to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP programs.
President Obama, in a March 2 letter to Congressional leaders, also expressed interest in a proposal suggested by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) at the bipartisan health care meeting on Feb. 25 to use undercover investigations to further combat fraud.