Medicare needs more, better reforms - Letter to the Editor

The Miami Herald published a letter from Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton advocating that the government devote more resources to pursuing the backlog of whistleblower cases.

The Miami Herald published a letter from Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton advocating that the government devote more resources to pursuing the backlog of whistleblower cases.

Medicare needs more, better reforms

Rather than investing vast resources into an illusory fix to uncover Medicare fraud through data mining, more money should be devoted to pursuing the backlog of whistle-blower cases overwhelming the U.S. Justice Department.

Nearly 1,000 cases of Medicare fraud reported by whistle-blowers haven't been resolved yet and potentially could recover billions of dollars for taxpayers. There aren't enough government attorneys and investigators in Washington to handle more than 100 cases per year on average.

Meanwhile, more than 200 new whistle-blower cases are filed each year, so the backlog of promising healthcare-fraud cases continues to grow. Beefing up the "qui tam" whistleblower reward program, which has recovered more than $17 billion, would be extremely effective.

Erika A. Kelton
October 7, 2010

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/10/07/1861910/medicare-needs-more-better-reforms.html