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Groups find accident fraud ups NY State health-care costs

Fraud Costs NY logo

Fraud Costs NY logo

A recent  news release from the Fraud Costs New York Coalition and the Property Casualty Insurers Association provides some new figures on a long-standing problem: medical fraud and its contribution to high car insurance rates.

The release said health care costs for automobile accident victims in New York increased 42 percent faster than overall medical care costs in the region over the past five years, mostly because of what the release called “rampant fraud by unscrupulous medical providers.”

Since the end of 2004, the average amount paid for medical claims related to automobile accidents in New York rose 60.4 percent, compared with the 18.6 percent growth rate in the Consumer Price Index’ cost of medical goods and services in the region.

“One primary explanation for such a wide discrepancy is automobile insurance fraud committed by medical providers in New York, which remains on the upswing, forcing consumers to pay more for auto insurance,” said Kristina Baldwin, assistant vice president for property casualty insurers group.

“Unscrupulous medical providers are taking advantage of New York’s automobile insurance system by inflating charges, submitting bills for procedures that were never performed and billing for excessive or unnecessary treatments.”

She called on the state legislature to overhaul the system.

Many of the fraudulent charges arise from staged accidents, the release said.

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