AARP Home » AARP Blog » AARP »Your Life »News To Know: Medicare Heist?

News To Know: Medicare Heist?

Posted on 08/5/2008 by |Archived Contributor | Comments

Your Life Print Print

Medicare is an enormous buyer of all things medical, including durable medical equipment. This is includes items like wheel chairs and canes amongst others. The question is, just how well does Medicare investigate those companies it buys products from? Well, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) was apparently wondering the same thing and set up an investigation. They created two phony companies, came up with fake suppliers and rented commercial space for offices. So what did they discover? After some initial difficulty, the made-up GAO companies were able to gain a Medicare billing number and could have fraudulently charged for equipment they never distributed or even had. This is important because if GAO can pull this off, so can people with more devious intentions. Medicare, for its part has said it is rolling out a more vigorous plan to vet suppliers and prevent fraud.