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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:08 AM   #1
Secretary of State
 
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Joined: Mar 2009
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Obama wishes to use "bounty hunters" for checking on health care fraud

I can't help wonder whether this is to combat healthcare fraud, or whether some of the participants in this "bounty hunter" exercise are hoping to make money out of it. What do you think? All in the name of political games?

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Waste and fraud are pervasive problems for Medicare and Medicaid, the giant government health insurance programs for seniors and low-income people. Improper payments ? in the wrong amounts, to the wrong person or for the wrong reason ? totaled an estimated $54 billion in 2009. They range from simple errors such as duplicate billing to elaborate schemes operated by fraudsters peddling everything from wheelchairs to hospice care.

The bounty hunters in this case would be private auditors armed with sophisticated computer programs to scan Medicare and Medicaid billing data for patterns of bogus claims. The auditors would get to keep part of any funds they recover for the government. The White House said a pilot program run by Medicare in California, New York and Texas recouped $900 million for taxpayers from 2005-2008.
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