Press Releases

Frankel, Keating Fight Medicare Fraud and Protect Seniors

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Washington, May 17, 2016 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22) and Congressman Bill Keating (MA-09) re-introduced the Fighting Medicare Fraud Act of 2016 to combat fraud in the Medicare program so that it can better serve America’s seniors and those with disabilities.

“South Florida remains a hotbed for Medicare fraud,” Congresswoman Frankel said. “This bill would crack down on criminals who exploit seniors and scam taxpayers.”

“We need to ensure taxpayer dollars are committed to providing vital services for our seniors, not lining the pockets of fraudulent businesses and CEOs,” said Congressman Bill Keating, who represents the largest senior population in Massachusetts.  “This common-sense legislation stops the cycle of deceit amongst the worst actors - toughening the consequences felt by those who illegally exploit our elderly population while strengthening the Medicare system in the process.”

Medicare enables over 55 million seniors and disabled individuals to access healthcare. Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse cost taxpayers between $60 and $90 billion each year.

The Fighting Medicare Fraud Act of 2016 would:

  • Close a loophole that corrupt CEOs and parent corporations have used to keep exploiting Medicare. Currently, if a company is under investigation for Medicare fraud and the CEO resigns prior to receiving a penalty, he or she may legally start a new company and potentially launch a new Medicare fraud scheme. Frankel’s bill would give the federal government the authority to keep these bad actors out of the Medicare business.
  • Make stealing a Medicare ID number a federal offense and add tough new penalties for stealing or distributing Medicare ID numbers, including a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
  • Require Medicare Advantage and Part D organizations to report incidents of potential fraud and abuse. Federal research suggests that potential instances of fraud in these programs may be unreported.

The legislation is endorsed by the Alliance for Retired Americans.

 

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