The CMS and the Veterans Affairs Department are taking a rare step in tandem to crack down on healthcare fraud. The CMS announced on Tuesday that it will share its data and best practices with the VA to help the department stop waste and fraud within its own system.
The CMS and VA are the two largest payers for healthcare and increasingly work in a public-private model with insurers and providers. But they operate separately, and this is a first in terms of collaboration.
The CMS has been ramping up its strategies to combat fraud and waste since 2010. The latest estimate—from fiscal 2015—estimates the agency's Center for Program Integrity saved the federal government $17 billion.
The two entities together are building new analytics tools as well.
VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin touted the move as a step in the Trump administration's plan for VA reform "by collaborating with our federal partners to improve VA's ability to investigate fraud and wrongdoing in VA programs."
"The VA-HHS alliance represents the latest example of VA's commitment to find partners to assist with identifying new and innovative ways to seek out fraud, waste and abuse and ensure every tax dollar given to VA supports veterans," Shulkin said.