HHS Would Hike Whistleblower Rewards to $10M

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 25, 2013

Forget Powerball. The odds of becoming a millionaire are much better for Medicare fraud whistleblowers.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this week unveiled a proposed rule that would pay rewards of nearly $10 million to Medicare beneficiaries and other whistleblowers whose fraud tips identify and recover funds.

"President Obama has made the elimination of fraud, waste and abuse, particularly in healthcare, a top priority for the administration," Sebelius said Wednesday in prepared remarks. "Today's announcement is a signal to Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers, who are on the frontlines of this fight, that they are critical partners in helping protect taxpayer dollars."

The announcement comes as HHS bolsters other antifraud initiatives this month, including the expansion of the Senior Medicare Patrol, a volunteer-based program that educates Medicare beneficiaries on how to prevent, detect and report Medicare fraud, waste and abuse.

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