HHS fights DME fraud in California and Florida

July 9, 2007

HHS secretary Michael Leavitt announced a two-year effort designed to further protect Medicare beneficiaries from fraudulent suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, and orthotics supplies (DMEPOS).

HHS secretary Michael Leavitt announced a two-year effort designed to further protect Medicare beneficiaries from fraudulent suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, and orthotics supplies (DMEPOS). The initiative is focused on preventing deceptive companies from operating in southern California and south Florida. Miami and Los Angeles have been identified as high-risk areas when it comes to fraudulent billing by DMEPOS suppliers. Under the new initiative, CMS will implement a demonstration project requiring DMEPOS suppliers in southern California and south Florida to reapply for participation in Medicare in order to maintain their billing privileges. Based on the results of the project, it could be expanded nationwide. The American Association for Homecare voiced its support for proactive Medicare initiatives to crack down on criminals who pose as legitimate homecare providers. Last month, the association published an open letter to Congress that stated, "Medicare and its private contractors have failed to shoulder the proper responsibility to effectively exercise their already-existing authority to combat fraudulent activity."

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