Friday, October 9, 2009

The Mafia and Medicare Fraud

Have you heard the news this week? The mafia is reportedly moving into the Medicare fraud racket! As if Medicare fraud wasn't already bad enough, now organized crime is reportedly trying to get a piece of the action!

Medicare fraud has indeed already been a major problem in this country. Now, it is just going to get worse. While there appear to be no reliable statistics, according to Wikipedia, of the $368 billion spent on Medicare billings, (for the elderly), each year, approximately 20% of the billings are fraudulent! Folks, that's over $73 billion per year in health care fraud in this country!

As a former federal prosecutor, in my opinion, part of the problem lies in the fact that Congress does not appropriate sufficient funds for law enforcement to combat Medicare fraud. According to Wikipedia, right now, the F.B.I. alone has open over 2,400 open health care fraud investigations. There simply are not enough agents and prosecutors solely dedicated to combatting this problem.

Moreover, in my opinion, some of the investigations are ill-conceived and improperly focus on legitimate medical doctors, hospitals, and other health care facilities that simply make billing mistakes. The government's focus should be on the real crooks.

And now, if things weren't already bad enough, the mafia is getting into the action! Wow! Sometimes, such bad news makes you wonder if things aren't just all going to Hell in a handbasket, doesn't it?!

1 comment:

  1. Richard, it was just a matter of time, the bad guys always find the easy prey.
    I am surprised they aren't receiving bail out payments as well.