Has fraud been a problem in Medicare?

The U.S. General Accounting Office reported a loss of $12.6 billion to the Medicare program from fraud in 1998 Not only does that put a strain on the Medicare trust fund, it also leads to higher premiums and deductibles for Medicare recipients.

Medicare fraud can take many forms. In some cases, it's as simple as billing Medicare for medical services that are never performed, or billing at a higher value than that of the services actually performed. In some cases, swindlers steal Medicare numbers and create phantom patients, billing Medicare for non-existent appointments and tests. Some aggressively pursue seniors with door-to-door or telephone marketing and use intimidation that pressures them into buying expensive equipment or procedures.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.