President Obama Signals Increase in Healthcare Investigations

On September 9, 2009, President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress to present his plan for healthcare reform. He estimated that the cost of his plan will be $900 billion dollars but emphasized that no money from the Medicare trust fund would be used to pay for the plan. Instead, the main source of funding the healthcare reform plan would be by finding more efficient outcomes and eliminating fraud and abuse. In his speech, the President said, “[W]e’ve estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system, a system that is currently full of waste and abuse. Right now, too much of the hard-earned savings and tax dollars we spend on health care don’t make us any healthier. That’s not my judgment. It’s the judgment of medical professionals across this country.” According to the head of the FBI’s Healthcare Fraud Unit, “Health care fraud is the defrauding of the health care system, either public or private, here in the United States, and it is fraudulently obtaining funds through either up-coding, which is in fraudulent billing, or billing for services not rendered, or any number of criminal acts.”

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