By Mike Lillis - 07/27/10 10:00 PM EDT
AARP, the 50+ advocacy group, threw its influence Tuesday behind a series of bipartisan proposals designed to rein in Medicare fraud.
The Medicare Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act, sponsored by Florida Reps. Ron Klein (D) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R), would hike the financial penalties for Medicare fraud and allow law enforcers quicker access to Medicare claims data.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has sponsored the accompanying Senate bill.
The third proposal, the Fighting Fraud with Innovative Technology Act, would bolster Medicare's claims screening process before payments are sent out. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).
“Medicare fraud costs billions of dollars each year but can be prevented for a fraction of the cost,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president, said in a statement announcing the endorsements.
"These are important components in a more holistic effort to not only fight the fraud that is occurring, but also ensure fraud is stopped before it happens through strong preventive measures."