Medicare Prescription Fraud Forcing CMS to Propose Stricter Penalties and Rules

On Monday, January 6, 2014 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) came out swinging in their fight against fraudulent doctors. Medicare stated its intention to battle prescription drug scams in a ‘Proposed Rule’ that will allow the federal body to control and also ban doctors that are caught in fraudulent prescription practices.
The recent move is a marked departure from Medicare’s past history of focusing more on the easy access of medication for medicare beneficiaries and other recipients. Many believe that the new direction is a result of a series of reports published by ProPublica which detailed fraud in the Medicare Part D program. The coverage plan was originally devised to help medicare beneficiaries and disabled members pay for medication. It seems that the lack of attention to the Part D program has given rise to doctors and providers that are prescribing medication recklessly.
Medicare is looking to implemented two major changes that will bolster their arsenal against abusive health care providers. The first part of the new suggested rules would require all physicians who prescribe drugs to Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in the federal program. Previously, doctors who were not registered with Medicare could still dispense prescriptions. The new proposed rule would mean that all doctors would come under the oversight of the CMS. If a doctor is suspected of fraud, a third party investigative team could be brought in to look into suspected practitioners.
The most potent power Medicare is requesting is the ability to remove abusive and fraudulent doctors from the program. The federal body is also looking at the authority to revoke the licensing of doctors that are caught prescribing drugs fraudulently to Medicare recipients.
Source: NPR

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