Baucus, Hatch want fraud updates

Top members of the Senate Finance Committee want frequent progress reports from the Obama administration about its effort to crack down on fraud, waste and abuse in federal health programs.

Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) want detailed quarterly updates from the health department’s Office of the Inspector General and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about progress on fighting waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid.

Healthcare reform included provisions that allow CMS to take a more proactive approach to rooting out improper payments before they are made. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates fraud at about $60 billion each year.

The senators in a Thursday letter requested updates on investigations, enforcement actions, recovery efforts and how the offices are spending their fraud, waste and abuse budgets.