A report by the Government Accountability Office states that the Medicare lost $60 million to fraud, abuse, and waste. This is not good news as the big number, some say too big, corresponds to a whopping ten percent of the total budget of Medicare.
How could this have happened? This is the first question we jump to.
The answer: a shocking 23,400 either fake or bad business addresses are present on the Medicare list. These are supposed to be doctor’s offices, either in hospitals, clinics or other centers. Instead, what reporters found at the locations were mailbox shops, or former hospitals which now had become just empty lots, and even hamburger stands.
No medical business whatsoever, no matter how much that hamburger place owner may try to convince you that his patties are good for your health. They’re not.
Senator Tom Carper, of the District of Delaware, was the one who requested that the GAO look into this problem. His statement says that it is totally unfair, as well as unethical to use taxpayers’ money this way. He says that the employers pay the money to the Medicare trust fund, literally trusting that it goes to the right place. Instead, some $60 billion of their money went into the pockets of parties who wished to “defraud” the system.
A report by an inspector General from 2003 said that correct addresses are essential for the Medicare, as they are the quickest way to fraud detection. Inconsistencies in these details more often than not lead to people who are deliberately trying to steal money from the program.
Carper stated that the problem is far from new and that politicians had known of its existence. He says that the GAO presented this problem to Congress back in 2012. Even further back, before the launch of Obamacare, the system was being deliberately being cheated.
The oldest and probably still worst example of this is when, back in 1998, the Senate investigated a $6 million fraud from Florida, in which a so called “business” should have had the address dead center in the Miami Airport.
The problem is far from gone now, yet investigators are optimistic that it can be easily solved. Apparently, Medicare can easily acquire all the postal addresses in the country and compare the list with their existing list of medical businesses. Those who do not match can easily be contacted.
One of the major problems that stands at the root of all this loss of money is the fact that businesses that move do not change their Medicare address within 30 days, as they should do according to law.
Image source: abcnews.com
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