Health care fraud is a crime that has a significant effect on the private and public health care payment system. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, all health care programs are subject to fraud with Medicare and Medicaid being the most visible. It is estimated that fraudulent billings to both private and public health care programs are between 3 and 10 percent of total health care programs expenditures. The most recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) statistical estimates project that total health care expenditures are estimated to total $2.4 trillion, representing 14 percent of the gross domestic product. By the year 2016, CMS also estimates that by the year 2016, the total health care spending is to exceed $4.14 trillion, representing 19.6 percent of the GDP. As one can see, the tens of billions of dollars lost due to health care fraud is a serious financial issue that affects the healthcare system as a whole and affects patients, taxpayers, and government through higher health care costs, insurance premiums and taxes.
Health care fraud is defined in Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C) s. 1347 as “whoever knowing and willfully executes or attempts to execute a scheme or artifice to defraud any health care benefit program or to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, any money or property owned by or under the custody or control of, any health care benefit program.” In other words, it is intentional deception of health insurance claims to gain an inappropriate payment or benefit. Health care fraud is challenging to control due to the uniqueness of the health care system where most billings claims are submitted by the medical care providers and not by the insured. It is system based on good faith. Medicare, for example, gives health insurance benefits to senior citizens or those who are disabled. It often pays claims submitted by health care providers quickly without verification...
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