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INSIDE E STREET

The Great American Rip-off: Medicare Fraud

The government has new tools to crack down on rampant abuse.

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Each year, an estimated 60 billion dollars is lost to Medicare fraud. "The Great American Rip-Off" provides an in-depth look at the government’s efforts to crack down on Medicare crime and answers the question: What can older Americans do to prevent fraud?

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discusses recent government efforts — including new tools for monitoring fradulent billing practices and new procedures for verifying providers — with “Inside E Street” host Sheilah Kast. She credits a renewed focus on fighting these crimes to collaboration between the Justice and Health and Human Services Departments. Last month, the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint task force led by both departments, made the largest Medicare fraud bust in history. 

One way that Medicare beneficiaries can police fraud is through volunteer Senior Medicare Patrol programs that work to spread awareness of how to detect and report these scams, she says.

But is enough being done? Miami Herald journalist Jay Weaver weighs in on the prevalence of scams and the government's new efforts to stop them. Gerald Roy, Deputy Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, describes the challenges of fighting fraud and what older Americans can do to combat these crimes.

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