Washington, D.C. – Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced, H.R. 2925, The Strengthening Medicare Anti-Fraud Measures Act of 2013. The legislation would grant the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) authority to exclude from the Medicare program individuals and entities that are found to be affiliated with another entity that has been sanctioned for fraud.
On the introduction of the legislation, Brady and McDermott stated, “As we continue to find ways to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse within the Medicare program, this legislation takes a common-sense approach by giving the Inspector General another tool to root out fraudsters. Individuals and companies who are involved with Medicare fraud on any level must be held accountable. We reintroduce this legislation to stem fraud by closing a senseless loophole for criminals who choose to steal from America’s entitlement programs.”
Under this act, the OIG would have the authority to prevent individuals involved with fraudulent entities from receiving Medicare payments. This would essentially ban executives whose companies have been convicted of Medicare fraud from the program. These executives currently defraud Medicare, then circumvent exclusion by moving to another company.
The OIG would also have the authority to prevent entities involved with other fraudulent entities from receiving Medicare payments. This would ban the use of shell companies by corporations engaging in fraudulent activities. It is irrational to think that while these shell corporations are engaged in illegal activities their parent companies hold zero liability. Where individuals and entities are involved with fraudulent entities, they should not be permitted to continue to defraud the Medicare program.
This legislation passed the House of Representatives in 2010 by voice vote but was not taken up in the Senate.