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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Medicare Rife With Fraud: The Dems Model For Socialized Medicine

Socialized Medicine is a disaster. It is a disaster up in Canada where medical travel agencies help patients travel to the U.S. to get proper and sometimes life-saving care; it is a disaster over in Great Britain where patients wait up to 13 hours in ambulance lines before they get taken into an Emergeny Room to wait and additional 9 hours to receive care.

But we don't need to go any further than the latest Medicare audit to see exactly how how much of a disaster it would be here in then Unted States. Even the New York Times gets it. From Charles Duhigg:

Medicare’s top officials said in 2006 that they had reduced the number of fraudulent and improper claims paid by the agency, keeping billions of dollars out of the hands of people trying to game the system.


In calculating the agency’s rate of improper payments, Medicare officials told outside auditors to ignore government policies that would have accurately measured fraud, according to the report. For example, auditors were told not to compare invoices from salespeople against doctors’ records, as required by law, to make sure that medical equipment went to actual patients.

The Medicare audit claimed a fraud rate of only 7.5%.

But the inspector general’s review indicated that the actual error rate was closer to 31.5 percent.

And how did this 31.5% rate come about? Like this:

Equipment sellers have submitted counterfeit documents, forged doctors’ signatures and filed claims on behalf of patients who were dead or had never been seen by the prescribing physician, according to many reports by government oversight agencies.

For example, a Florida businessman was sentenced last year to 37 months in prison for submitting more than $5.5 million of fake claims to Medicare. The businessman operated for months, despite giving the agency an address that was actually a utility closet.

On July 1, Medicare instituted a new competitive bidding system that officials said would reduce both fraud and costs for medical equipment.

On July 15, however, Congress suspended the program, after equipment manufacturers and sellers began an aggressive lobbying campaign.

Lobbyists. That explains a great deal about why this fraud is occurring.

But the main thing to remember is that this fraud-laden program is what the Dems would have us all subscribe to under Socialized Medicine.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Report Rejects Medicare Boast Of Paring Fraud
Charles Duhigg
The New York Times
August 20, 2008

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