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Thatís where the money is (Health-care fraud in America)
Economist ^ | 31 May 2014

Posted on 06/05/2014 8:14:48 PM PDT by Lorianne

How to hand over $272 billion a year to criminals

In America the scale of medical embezzlement is extraordinary. According to Donald Berwick, the ex-boss of Medicare and Medicaid (the public health schemes for the old and poor), America lost between $82 billion and $272 billion in 2011 to medical fraud and abuse (see article). The higher figure is 10% of medical spending and a whopping 1.7% of GDP—as if robbers had made off with the entire output of Tennessee or nearly twice the budget of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

Crooks love American health care for two reasons. First, as Willie Sutton said of banks, it’s where the money is—no other country spends nearly as much on pills and procedures. Second, unlike a bank, it is barely guarded.

Some scams are simple. Patients claim benefits to which they are not entitled; suppliers charge Medicaid for non-existent services. One doctor was recently accused of fraudulently billing for 1,000 powered wheelchairs, for example. Fancier schemes involve syndicates of health workers and patients. Scammers scour nursing homes for old people willing, for a few hundred dollars, to let pharmacists supply their pills but bill Medicare for much costlier ones. Criminal gangs are switching from cocaine to prescription drugs—the rewards are as juicy, but with less risk of being shot or arrested. One clinic in New York allegedly wrote bogus prescriptions for more than 5m painkillers, which were then sold on the street for $30-90 each. Identity thieves have realised that medical records are more valuable than credit-card numbers. Steal a credit card and the victim quickly notices; photocopy a Medicare card and you can bill Uncle Sam for ages, undetected.

(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/05/2014 8:14:48 PM PDT by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne

Wait until they control all of health care.

“If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it is free” P.J. O’Rourke.


2 posted on 06/05/2014 8:22:59 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Nachum

PIng.


3 posted on 06/05/2014 8:25:22 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: Lorianne

Socialized A.C.A medicine…unaffordable, unaccountable, uncaring, unsustainable.

BIG GOVERNMENT IS CRONY SOCIALISM

Socialism Is Legal Plunder - Bastiat

Social Security Liability 17,000,000,000,000 +

Prescription Drug Liability 22,000,000,000,000 +

Medicare Liability 89,000,000,000,000 +

http://www.usdebtclock.org


4 posted on 06/06/2014 1:40:21 AM PDT by PGalt
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