Health care: A ‘goldmine’ for fraudsters

Parija Kavilanz reports:

There’s a group of people who really love the U.S. health care system — the fraudsters, scammers and organized criminal gangs who are bilking the system of as much as $100 billion a year.

Health care identity theft dominated all other crimes in the sector last year, according to Louis Saccoccio, executive director of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA), an advocacy group whose members include insurers, law enforcement and regulatory agencies.

The most common method of health care identity fraud occurs when someone with legitimate access, such as a hospital administrator or a doctor’s assistant, sells patients’ information to organized criminal groups.

Increasingly, criminal groups are hacking into digital medical records so that they can steal money from the $450 billion, 44-million-beneficiary Medicare system — making the government, by far, the “single biggest victim” of health care fraud, according to Rob Montemorra, chief of the FBI’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

Read more on CNN.

Photo credit: Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine 2005-23 by Flyover Country/Flickr, used under Creative Commons License.

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