Senate health fraud bill would require better physician verification

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 4, 2011

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Bipartisan Senate legislation would eliminate tens of billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid fraud by creating stronger penalties and using technology to combat abuse and waste, proponents of the bill said. Sens. Tom Coburn, MD (R, Okla.), and Tom Carper (D, Del.) introduced the Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayer Dollars Act on June 22.

"There is no single solution that will solve our nation's current fiscal dilemma, but there are numerous steps we can take to rein in wasteful spending and begin to restore fiscal order," Carper said. "The FAST Act is one of those steps."

For instance, the legislation would require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to curb the theft of physician identities by improving verification systems that are used when physicians order services. Also, the bill would require CMS to track overpayments identified by recovery audit contractor reviews and implement solutions to prevent such payments from occurring.

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