Home World Medicare: $8 billion-a-year claims fraud ‘out of control’, health secretary says

Medicare: $8 billion-a-year claims fraud ‘out of control’, health secretary says

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Health Minister Mark Butler says claims of billions of dollars being siphoned off the Medicare system every year are being taken seriously.
Mr Butler said an investigation would be carried out following reports by the ABC and Nine newspapers .
Media reports alleged that some medical practitioners were defrauding Medicare and charging for services that were not provided, while some doctors were billing dead people and falsifying medical records.

Mr. Butler said that while there was “fraud” in the Medicare system, the $8 billion figure cited in the media was higher than he expected.

Health Secretary Mark Butler has pledged that claims of billions of dollars being siphoned off the Medicare system each year will be taken seriously. Source: AAP / Tracy Neary

“It’s completely out of line with any other figure that’s ever been given to the government, including the National Audit Office, which only reviewed the program a couple of years ago, but I take it seriously,” he told ABC radio. . on Tuesday.

“We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can as a government to make sure every dollar is spent wisely.”
The Australian Medical Association’s peak body has said allegations of Medicare cuts are a defamation of the profession.

Association president Steve Robson said the vast majority of GPs had done the right thing by their patients and said the $8 billion figure was “grossly inflated”.

Mr Butler said he wanted to find out the truth behind the Rotary allegations.
The investigation, conducted by the federal health department, will include an analysis of the work of experts who studied Medicare requirements and compliance measures.
“(The investigation) is a timely opportunity for us to take a hard look at how the audit and compliance system is working and ensuring … we are getting the most value for money,” Mr Butler said.

“Any single case of fraud or wrongful claiming, particularly now given the state of general practice in crisis, will raise a very serious level of concern in the Australian public.”

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/medicare-fraud-will-be-investigated-but-8-billion-rorts-cost-claims-way-out-of-whack-health-minster/85sr8wbgh

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