Fraud fighters and consumers should be energized by a bold new partnership that was announced this afternoon in Washington.
The Fraud Prevention Partnership links public and private insurers, anti-fraud groups and federal healthcare policymakers in a ramped-up national effort to root out insurance fraud.
The collaboration creates a force multiplier that greatly increases the pressure on insurance schemers.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder spoke forcefully at a news news conference this afternoon revealing the partnership’s details.
The Coalition is one of the initiators of this partnership and serves as co-chair of its executive board work group. We were delighted to participate in the announcement alongside our federal partners, insurers, regulators and other anti-fraud organizations.
The entire day’s events this afternoon left no doubt that the Obama Administration is dead-serious about raising its attack on fraud to a new level of commitment and impact.
The partnership members will share case leads, evidence, data and other vital information. Evidence uncovered while probing a Medicare scheme might also reveal the suspect is going after a private health, auto or workers compensation insurer.
This kind of collaboration greatly increases the chances of earlier detection and successful prosecution. The synergy also might inspire entirely new approaches to fighting this crime.
The partnership is based on a sobering truth about today’s fraud world: Many con artists bilk both public and private insurers. An Armenian ring based in California milked Medicare, but also staged crashes for bogus injury claims against auto insurers. It was an attempted $160-million scam.
Con artists who go after Medicaid also might have their clutches on private health insurers.
Such crossover cons ― whether done by a large gang or one doc ― are a growing part of today’s fraud world. This says much about their growing sophistication.
One recently busted gang made $400 million in claims against insurers. More just like them have surfaced in recent months. How many more are plundering, undetected? Organized crime also is infiltrating insurance, applying advanced skills to penetrate insurers.
The partnership itself was the product of the same kind of synergy it will generate.
The Coalition reached out to HHS in 2010, offering to help coordinate a planned healthcare fraud summit the following January. We helped plan the summit, and then several regional summits. That idea grew to become the permanent partnership rolled out this week.
This exciting new collaboration will help energize the fraud fight, inject new ideas, and better harden America’s insurance system against cheaters. They’ll be surprised to find that their easy ticket to the good life is a one-way trip to jail.