Federal Agencies Will Establish A 'Do Not Pay List' To Prevent Fraud

The Washington Post: "President Obama will order federal agencies Friday to establish a national 'do not pay list' to prevent the government from paying benefits, contracts, grants and loans to ineligible people or organizations, according to senior administration officials. The moves are part of a series to cut government waste and fraud and come amid calls for more fiscal restraint from Republicans and moderate Democrats. ... The administration also will announce plans on Friday for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to use an online fraud-detection program developed by federal watchdogs who are tracking the economic stimulus program. CMS made $65 billion in erroneous payments in fiscal year 2009, and officials expect the tool will help the agency keep closer tabs on medical providers by conducting deeper background checks" (O'Keefe, 6/18).

The Federal Times: "A year-old team of Justice and Health and Human Services department investigators is making a dent in collecting and preventing improper payouts under the Medicare program, which is responsible for roughly half of the government's $100 billion in improper payments annually. Dubbed the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, or HEAT, the initiative has produced substantial results in combating waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which HHS manages, said Edward Siskel, associate deputy attorney general at Justice. Medicare claims and payouts for medical equipment used in the home — one of the areas most susceptible to fraud — declined significantly after authorities increased arrests and prosecutions in one hot-spot area, South Florida" (Kauffman, 6/17).

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