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Dead doctors and Medicare
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, July 09, 2008

You know, it's bad enough when this happens:
Over seven years, the federal program for the elderly and disabled [Medicare] paid at least about $77 million — and possibly as much as $92 million — to purported medical equipment suppliers who used Medicare ID numbers of deceased physicians, says a report out Wednesday by congressional investigators.
However, it is even worse when you find out this is the case:
Despite learning of the problem in 2001, the government failed to fix it, the report says. Investigators reviewed billing data submitted by equipment suppliers from 2000 to 2007 using the ID numbers of 1,500 deceased doctors.
Please, please, please let them run health care for the rest of us - as you can see, fraud won't be a problem and costs will certainly be controlled.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I have often wondered about this; (and I would appreciate everyone’s views) Could in be time for a new law which would create a program, connected with both OMB and the justice department. This program would allow anyone connected with, working for, or contracting with the Federal government to identify anything they considered to be waste, fraud, or abuse.

When these complaints come in the office would have then power, and would be required by law to immediately fix the problem by issuing new directives, going completely over the heads of what ever department was involved.

The whistle blowers would then receive an amount of money, let’s say 3% of the approximant savings to the government for three years.

That could be a tremendous amount of money to the individual.

Written By: kyleN
sorry for the misspellings, working on only my second cup of coffee.
Written By: kyleN
The cure for problems the government is creating is more government?

How about this: Mandatory 20 years, with no possibility of parole for defrauding the government. Give a finders fee capped at $25,000 for those reporting fraud.

Oh, if the defrauders work for the government, their pensions are forfeit. Double penalties for elected officials. No more wink-wink for the Murtha ploy of steering government earmarks towards family and friends. If you are an elected official, your assets are placed in a blind trust. You can only live on your salary as long as you serve in Congress.

Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
Sweet jesus, I love the sound of that Mark.

A shame it will never, EVER happen...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Well Mark I considered all that, but here are some problems.

(1) if you set the rewards for whistleblowing too low, you get no whistleblowing
(2) I did not discuss penalties for those caught with their hand in the till. that goes without saying.
(3) My program would work not just for fraud, but for simple waste as well, if you reveal something wasteful then you get a payment
(4) You need, IMO another part of the government to have the power to police the government. Who else is going to do it? Furthermore, I would make their pay and promotion commiserate with how much the saved the taxpayer.
Written By: kyleN
This kind of stuff really gets my goat. I’ve been programming for 20 years now, and this is simply unbelievable.

We’ve got the technology to identify if people in a foreign country have a criminal record here, but our own f’in government can’t even connect their databases to know that an ID is for a dead person.
Written By: Keith_Indy
Well, gee, at least the government does not have all that wasteful administrative overhead that health care in the private sector has.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I was wondering if we had incentives for departments NOT to spend all of their budgets, e.g. 5% of any non-spent budget becomes performance bonuses. I just don’t know how you keep service up, maybe benchmarks?
Written By: Harun
URL: http://

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