WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the announcement that the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged more than 300 people with schemes that involved more than $900 million in fraudulent billings of federal health programs. The takedown by the joint Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) strike force is the largest in history.
Last year, Senator Carper introduced the bipartisan PRIME Act of 2015 to combat and prevent waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid. A number of the key provisions of this bill became law as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 and the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act.
“Today’s announcement is good news for both patients and taxpayers and it shows the real results that can be achieved when we work together. This unprecedented crackdown is the result of successful partnerships across all levels of government and multiple agencies, as well as the hard work of hundreds of investigators, and will prevent bad actors from using these programs to continue taking advantage of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
“It is also important to note that the Affordable Care Act has greatly aided our efforts to combat fraud, waste and abuse in health care programs. The historic law includes a number of provisions aimed at rooting out these issues in Medicare and Medicaid and is helping us get better results in health care for less money.
“I often say that if something isn’t perfect, we have an obligation to work to make it better. By addressing vulnerabilities in Medicare and Medicaid, two of our nation’s most critical safety-net programs, we are working to make our federal health programs work better for both patients and taxpayers. Millions of our most vulnerable Americans—the poor, the elderly and the disabled—depend on Medicare and Medicaid every day for life-saving healthcare. We have a solemn responsibility to maintain the integrity of these critical programs, ensure that patients are receiving quality care and see that taxpayer dollars are being protected.”