Committee passes Garcia’s health care fraud prevention bill  

Politics and government

News release  

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, announced his Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act (H.R. 8089) passed out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The legislation will now advance to a vote on the House floor. 

“Simply put, we need to stop paying dead people,” Garcia said in a news release. “This bill does that by implementing common-sense safeguards to prevent fraudsters from exploiting deceased providers. Taxpayer dollars are precious, and right now we’re losing more than $100 billion every single year to this fraud and abuse in our health care system. There’s a lot of work to be done, but this bipartisan bill is an important step toward better protecting your health care. Millions of Californians rely on Medicare and Medicaid, and I’ll always fight to protect these critical programs and ensure these resources go to those who need it most.” 

The Medicare and Medicaid programs jointly spend $1.6 trillion every year. Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm recently testified that her office now receives hundreds of fraudulent claims per year.  

Earlier this year, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro also testified that greater collaboration between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and states on provider screening can help prevent fraud. 

The Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act works to improve that collaboration. The bill implements a U.S. Government Accountability Office recommendation that would require states to check with the Social Security Administration Death Master File before automatically reenrolling Medicaid providers.  

This would allow states to deactivate the National Provider Identifiers of deceased providers and prevent any bad actors from using that NPI to defraud Medicaid or Medicare, the release said. 

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