Herger, Stark reintroduce Medicare fraud bill

The top Democrat and Republican on the House Ways and Means Health subcommittee reintroduced a bill Friday strengthening efforts to combat Medicare fraud.

The bill, introduced by subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-Calif.) and Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), would allow the health department to ban corporate executives from Medicare if their companies were convicted of fraud after they left the company. The feds could also exclude parent companies that commit fraud through shell companies.

The bill passed the House by voice vote last Congress, but an anonymous Senate hold kept it from progressing in the upper chamber.

"It is essential that we close loopholes that make widespread Medicare fraud possible by allowing these criminals a second chance to commit fraud," Herger said. "Medicare is already on an unsustainable path, and we must make every effort to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not wasted, to ensure that loopholes in the law do not allow hard-earned taxpayer dollars to go to waste."

"I hope that this year we can finally pass these important anti-fraud measures into law," Stark said.