WASHINGTON--Medicare and Medicaid are hard pressed to stay ahead
of profiteers bent on cheating the system administered by the
Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).
Sarah F. Jaggar, director of health financing and policy issues
for HCFA, testified before the House Subcommittee on Human Resources
and Intergovernmental Relations that HCFA's fraud and abuse prevention
programs are weak.
She said that Medicare and Medicaid offer strong incentives for
providers to overprovide services, that HCFA has few controls
to detect questionable billing practices and too few limits on
the types of providers allowed to bill the federal agency, and
that there is little chance that profiteers will be prosecuted
or will have to repay fraudulently obtained money.