Congress begins squeeze on medicare fraud costing taxpayers $50 billion

Improper Medicare payments and fraud cost the taxpayers in excess of $50 billion last year alone, according to a report by Health and Human Services. Medicare spent over $554 billion last year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has instituted new programs to prevent fraud and has started to screen 1.5 million Medicare suppliers. So far over 160,000 providers have had their billing privileges deactivated .

The latest budget requests $428 million for Medicare fraud prevention programs that could yield $13.5 billion in savings.

Under the False Claims Act individuals with specific information can reveal it to the government and receive up to 30% of what the government recovers. It cannot already be known and must show actual fraud and not just mistake.

Jeff Newman represents whistleblowers.