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Tom Coburn Has Medicare Fraud in His Sights

Senator Trainwreck

When it comes to solving the multi-billion-dollar challenge of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, Oklahoma Senator (and physician) Tom Coburn has led the way in calling for innovative approaches to fraud prevention. Now he’s introduced legislation focused on addressing the problem. It may not go anywhere in this Congress, but expect it to get a lot of consideration early next year.

“This act does several things to target fraud. One of the biggest problems we face is providers and suppliers who are banned in one State, but then just jump to another,” Coburn told me in an interview today. “So we’re going to give the Secretary [of HHS] the ability share information to a greater degree, so we can track and identify providers and suppliers excluded from participation.”

The bill, S. 3900, is entitled the “Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayers’ Dollars” or “FAST” Act, and was introduced in the House by Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois. Both attended the White House health summit in the Spring, where Coburn questioned President Barack Obama on a lack of innovation in combating fraud. He also denounces as “spurious” claims by the White House last week that repealing Obamacare means opening the floodgates for fraud, and says “It’s already readily apparent that this plan doesn’t solve the cost problem.”

Read more of my interview with Coburn here, and read more about his legislation here.

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