Carper Applauds Administration’s Aggressive Efforts to Prevent and Prosecute Health Care Waste, Fraud and Abuse

Senator's Provisions in New Health Reform Law Critical to Administration's Efforts to Recover Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chair of the Senate subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, applauded the Department of Health and Human Service and the Justice Department’s announcement yesterday that it has significantly strengthened its efforts to combat Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse.  At a press conference on Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder highlighted new tools provided by the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act,  that will help prevent and prosecute health care fraud, strengthen consumer rights, and protect taxpayer dollars. Sen. Carper successfully pushed for the inclusion of the new prevention and enforcement measures as a part of the health reform bill.  The new law also provides an additional $350 million over the next 10 years to help fight health care fraud. 


"I applaud the Obama Administration’s efforts to fight waste, fraud and abuse throughout the federal government, but particularly in Medicare and Medicaid," said Sen. Carper. "The new Administration’s strong commitment to this effort is a welcome change.  Clearly there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to preventing and prosecuting the fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars. One of my top priorities when crafting our health reform law was to provide the Administration with the innovative tools and resources to root out billions of dollars of waste and to prevent these abuses from happening in the first place. With stiffer penalties, new ways to stop payments to providers when there is evidence of fraud, more enforcement dollars and the expansion of recovery auditing contracting, this new strategy is a critical step in combating our nation’s growing deficit. 


"The Obama Administration continues to implement proven strategies to recover improper federal spending, including requiring federal agencies to identify and recover improper payments and giving agencies the knowledge to make permanent systemic changes to prevent future offenses.  Recovery Audit Contracting has already returned $900 million in over payments to the Medicare Trust Fund. The provisions in the new health reform law will build on this early success, resulting in even more taxpayer dollars being recovered. Medicare is too important a program for large-scale overpayments to plague the system.  The sooner the full program is up and running, the sooner we can recover millions of dollars in additional overpayments.


"I will continue to work with the Administration to ensure the successful implementation of this enhanced strategy for Medicare and Medicaid and hope that we can implement similar strategies throughout the federal government."