Senator Baucus’ America’s Healthy Future Act Could Alter the Fraud and Abuse Landscape

America’s Health Future Act of 2009, one of the six health care reform bills in Congress, contains significant revisions to fraud and abuse laws and procedures. These revisions are generally not in the spotlight, as the focus on the bill, which was sponsored by Senator Max Baucus of Montana, is on the health insurance issues. However, if the bill is passed into law, it would have the side effect of broadening liability under the federal anti-kickback statute and would allow for suspension of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement during a government investigation of alleged fraud. On a positive note, the bill would also create new exceptions to the civil monetary penalties law for certain charitable programs.

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