Some of the many types of health care fraud that this whistleblower lawyer blog has followed involves “durable medical equipment” (DME). The sale of wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen supplies and equipment, hospital beds, orthotics, prosthetics, and various medical devices is yet another opportunity for dishonest suppliers to defraud taxpayers.
This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an initiative designed to improve care, save $1 billion annually, and lower Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs–by promoting competition in the sale of durable medical equipment.
Seventy new areas across the country have been added to the second phase of a competitive bidding program. One goal is to “prevent unscrupulous suppliers from participating in Medicare.”
According to CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems,”Competitive bidding means that Medicare beneficiaries will have access to these products at substantially lower costs.” Mr Weems noted that “[s]ince all successful bidders will be required to meet quality standards and be accredited by Medicare, people with Medicare in these 70 new areas can be assured of access, low prices and high quality.”
The new program is also intended to provide another layer of protection against Medicare fraud. As our whistleblower clients and other whistleblower attorneys know too well, fraud in health care is bleeding our nation’s precious health care resources–and cost taxpayers millions each year.
We congratulate CMS for its ongoing efforts to to root out health care fraud.