Instead of fading away over the years, the business of defrauding the government of billions of dollars annually is not only still going strong, but is increasing, according to the most recent report from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Program.
And Baby-Boomers beware: You're not only at the top on the list for fraud and abuse, but for medical errors as well. Meanwhile, certain parts of health care reform from the government level appear to be more rhetoric than action.
From over-pricing and false claims for medical services, to gross misconduct and mismanaged care of senior citizens in nursing homes, the pharmaceutical industry leads the pack in health care fraud and abuse. It's been that way for decades. That's why the U.S. government has repeatedly enacted new laws – in 1986, 1996, 2009, and 2010 – to crack down on offenders.
The 1986 legislation strengthened a Civil War-era fraud law, the False Claims Act, with incentives for private citizens to report fraud and abuse of government programs by corporate America.
This law enabled "whistleblowers" to expose corporate criminals whose crimes had previously gone undetected. But it didn't stop these crimes, so, in 1996, Congress created another enforcement tool, the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) program, which provides for huge fines and prison sentences for health care fraud and abuse.
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Seniors a Top Target for Health Care Fraud and Abuse