The White House said it wants to bolster its oversight of Medicare and Medicaid, proposing a stepped-up fraud and abuse control program that officials estimate could return $2.7 billion to government coffers in five years.
We estimate that for every $1 we spend to stop fraud in the system, we save $1.55, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a news conference. In a more detailed report that augments some of the provisions outlined in its February release, the White House has allotted $1.7 billion over the next 10 years in discretionary spending to help better account for dollars lost in the program because of improper or otherwise fraudulent billing.
From 1997 to 2007, the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program has returned more than $11 billion to the trust funds. The program is part of an overall effort to help reshape the healthcare landscape in the U.S. In a conference call with reporters, White House budget chief Peter Orszag again singled out healthcare spending as the biggest drag on the economy.
Orszag said that the goal is to accomplish healthcare reform this year in a way that brings down costs not only to the federal government, but also to our families.