10 October 2012

Yesterday’s post was about the apparent acceptance of corruption in China – but human nature can be equally self centred in more developed societies.  Last week, raids in  seven large United States cities resulted in the arrest of 91 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals on charges of fraud totalling $430 million.  Offences included various forms of health care fraud, breaches of anti-kickback laws, identity theft, and money laundering,

The charges involved “…treatments and services that were either medically unnecessary or, in some cases, never actually rendered…”  ranging from home health care to the largest ambulance fraud scheme ever prosecuted.

Last  year the Federal Department of Justice  charged 323 medical professionals with more than $1 billion  of fraudulent claims, resulting in 175 prison sentences. Another $2.4 billion was recovered through action under the False Claims Act.

In less than four years the US Government has recovered more than $10.6 billion in improper medicaid claims by professionals 

The fraud surveys published in 2012 by the major international accounting firms indicate that respondents believe that is fraud is becoming increasingly more prevalent.  Some US insurance companied believe about 20% of claims are fraudulent. Identity fraud is on the increase. The scene is disheartening.

This week is fraud awareness week, in a range of guises. In New Zealand and Australia the risks of identity fraud are being emphasised. In some US states the emphasis is on insurance fraud.