Defrauding the federal government by way of Medicare and Medicaid can cost taxpayers upward of tens of billions of dollars annually. Taking advantage of seniors has become a lucrative business. Seemingly legitimate companies send Medicare beneficiaries unwanted and often times unneeded products at an astronomical mark-up, all of it charged to Medicare. The victims and the federal government, however, have had enough.
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The Medicare Fraud Strike Force is combating fraudsters with new technology, such as data mining, and the help of Medicare recipients themselves. A joint effort of the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, the task force works to prevent the many scams that pop up as a way to swindle the government. If you or a loved one has had any experience with Medicare fraud, or would like to report any suspicious activity, call 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477), or you can file a report online to the Office of the Inspector General.
This episode of Inside E Street features Jay Weaver, an investigative reporter for the Miami Herald, and Inspector General Dan Levinson of the Department of Health and Human Services. Weaver, who has been covering Medicare fraud for years, discusses the current state of health care scams, and what the government is doing, and isn’t doing, to oppose this debilitating trend. Levinson talks about the new techniques used by the Strike Force, and what the future holds for those who think they can deceive the government and taxpayers.
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