Anti-Fraud Coalition Calls on Congress for Medicare Reforms

A national coalition of organizations advocating healthcare fraud prevention called on Congress this week to implement program integrity reforms to further protect America’s seniors from fraud and abuse.

Fight Fraud First! (FFF!) is an collaborative effort on behalf of seniors, persons with disabilities, military veterans and family members to advocate for the elimination of waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid.

Tuesday, the coalition geared its advocacy efforts to shift Congress away from re-imposing Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing requirements as a means to produce federal savings. 

While FFF! recognizes the need to achieve savings in Medicare, adding increased cost-sharing on seniors is not the answer to curb spending, according to a statement from the coalition.

One way Washington would impose cost-sharing on seniors would be through proposed home health co-payments outlined in the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget. 

While the Obama Administration suggests a home health co-payment would help reduce Medicare spending by just $700 million over 10 years, FFF! assures there are other ways to achieve cost-savings. 

“There is considerable evidence that significant savings can be achieved by enacting reforms that combat fraud and abuse,” said Chairman Billy Tauzin of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. 

To shift costs from falling on already “vulnerable beneficiaries,” the coalition has urged lawmakers to advance program integrity reforms in a more targeted approach.

“While the federal government has advanced successful anti-fraud initiatives and recovered fraudulent payments, more must be done before lawmakers consider burdening Medicare beneficiaries with more out-of pocket costs,” FFF! said in a statement.

Written by Jason Oliva