FY 2011 Budget to Likely Increase Health Care Identity Theft & Fraud Prevention Funding

May 24, 2010

By Allison Tomek

Despite the doubt and confusion surrounding the state of health care reform in Washington D.C, President Barack Obama is reportedly aiming to step up the fight against identity thieves who attempt health care identity theft, medical identity theft, and identity fraud in the upcoming FY 2011 Budget.

According to Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who both attended the National Summit on Health Care Fraud with other law and health officials, additional funding is expected to be given to the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team to aid in the prevention of medical and health care identity theft.

“Health care identity fraud and theft isn’t just a government problem. Criminals don’t discriminate and they are stealing from Medicare, Medicaid and private companies at an unacceptable rate,” said Sebelius. “We have a shared interest in the prevention of these crimes and today’s summit brought us together to discuss how we can all work together to fight medical identity theft and fraud.”

Sebelius said the upcoming budget would include “historic support for anti-fraud efforts” that could save billions of dollars in the coming decade by preventing identity theft and fraud, reducing payment errors and returning funds.

“Health care identity fraud and theft affects all Americans and demands a coordinated, national response,” added Holder. “HEAT has proven that better collaboration is the key to the prevention of these crimes, recovering stolen resources, and protecting essential Medicare and Medicaid dollars.”

According to CNNMoney, a recent report from the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association found that the most common form of identity theft concerning medical and health services occurs when thieves with access to medical information sell patient data to organized crime groups. With that information in hand, the groups can then file false claims in the names of their victims and collect benefits or medication.

Rob Montemorra, the chief of the FBI’s Health Care Fraud Unit, added that Medicare fraud had recently seen a spike in areas such as Miami that contained a sizable population of elderly citizens, CNN reported.

This article is brought to you by Allison Tomek for NationalCreditReport.com. NationalCreditReport.com offers credit reports and monthly and annual credit monitoring services to help prevent identity theft. Our service accurately identifies your credit score and credit history.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Allison_Tomek


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