Good Morning
Good Morning

Letter: Medicare fraud can be elusive

Winthrop-University Hospital is holding a mini-med school adult

Winthrop-University Hospital is holding a mini-med school adult education program consisting of five classes on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning next week. Each class centers on parts of the body and how they work. Credit: Bloomberg News

Your report on an initiative to stymie Medicare fraud points out needed savings ["End the waste in health care," Editorial, Sept. 17].

However, government oversight has its limits. Fraud is more than submitting invalid paperwork. It can involve a deep-rooted collusion between suppliers and doctors. On top of cash gifts suppliers might pay to doctors, Medicare's fee-for-service structure makes excessive billing very appealing.

While new regulations may reduce the number of claims submitted for nonexistent Medicare patients, other forms of fraud will persist. Doctors could still submit claims by simply changing how they word their patient notes. Fraud can also increase for unregulated durable medical equipment.

Alaya Levi Salley, Baldwin

Editor's note: The writer worked for a health care consulting company.