Earlier this week, the federal government unveiled proposed regulations to crack down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud by empowering government officials with the power to stop payments as soon as credible fraud allegations are made.
Currently, improper health care payments continue to pour out of the federal government coffers, even when credible allegations have been raised by a False Claims Act whistleblower. This “pay and chase” approach has cost the government billions of dollars, greatly contributing to the estimated $55 billion in improper payments made each year in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
“Suspending payments to a health care provider the second there is a red flag gives the government a chance to catch fraud on the front end,” said Nolan & Auerbach partner Jeb White. “Whistleblowers can play an important role in raising those red flags.”
These proposed regulations stem from the recent federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) legislation.