President Obama Vows to Eliminate Healthcare Fraud and Reduce Waste

On Wednesday, September 9, 2009, President Barack Obama addressed Congress on the current debate over healthcare reform. In his speech, the President vowed he would eliminate “the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud.” Under his plan, an independent commission of doctors and medical experts would be appointed the task of uncovering fraud and abuse in the coming years.

President Obama’s speech further confirms that the fight against healthcare fraud is a top priority for the government, and its recently heightened efforts to recoup healthcare dollars by prosecuting violators underscores that message. Simply put, in order to afford a viable healthcare system unnecessary spending must be eliminated. We’ve said it before – the government is keeping a watchful eye on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, as well as fraud within the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, just last week the Office of Inspector General announced Medicaid Fraud Control Units recovered $1.3 billion in 2008.

Needing all the help they can get, federal regulators see whistleblowers as crucial players in the fight against healthcare fraud. As Marcella Auerbach pointed out in an interview with PBS in July, the healthcare industry receives a $15 return for every dollar the government spends on efforts to fight fraud. By spotting fraud early on, significant money can be recovered for patients and taxpayers.

For the entire transcript of President Obama’s speech, go to:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-to-a-Joint-Session-of-Congress-on-Health-Care/

For more information about qui tam law and health care fraud, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA.

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