Senators back Medicare anti-fraud proposal

Two senators are touting Medicare's plan to enhance oversight and crack down on fraud in Part D, which governs prescription drugs.

Sens. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperTrump states would bear brunt of gas tax increase: conservative groups Trump talk riles advocates on both sides of gas tax Senate bill would let EPA implement global greenhouse gas deal MORE (D-Del.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnPaul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism Republicans in Congress shouldn't try to bring back earmarks Republicans should know reviving earmarks is a political nightmare MORE (R-Okla.) praised the plan in statements Tuesday, noting it would help save money in Medicare.

The two senators lead the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

"For years, Medicare has lost millions of dollars due to fraudulent prescriptions for painkillers and other drugs," Carper said in a statement.

"This fraudulent activity is not only a financial drain on a vital federal program, but it is also harmful to those struggling with prescription drug abuse."

The proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), due to take effect in January 2015, would give officials enhanced powers to identify and stop fraudulent prescriptions.

In one example, CMS will be able to easily spot and remove providers whose licenses to prescribe controlled substances have been revoked at the state level.

The Homeland Security Committee called for increased oversight of the program at a hearing in June.

The proposal was released in regulations on Monday.