June 25,2001

Baucus Announces Witness List for Medicare Fraud Hearing

Hearing: Prescription for Fraud: Consultants Selling Doctors Bad Billing Advice
Date/Time: June 27, 2001, at 10:00 a.m.
Location: 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Description: The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing to receive the results of a 13-month General Accounting Office (GAO) undercover operation conducted by its Office of Special Investigations regarding healthcare consultants who conduct seminars or workshops that offer advice to health care providers on ways to enhance revenue and avoid audits or investigations. According to GAO, some of the advice being offered is inconsistent with guidance provided to the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of the Inspector General and could result in violations of both civil and criminal statutes. The investigation was requested by Senator Charles Grassley.

In announcing the hearing, Chairman Baucus stated, "I want to thank Senator Grassley for making this hearing possible through his tireless dedication to improve our nation’s healthcare system. Most in the health care consulting industry provide a legitimate and valuable service to providers and strengthen our health care delivery system. Unfortunately, there are some consultants more interested in preaching ways to game the system than helping providers comply with the law. This hearing will take taxpayers inside these exclusive sessions and expose the consultants’ improper tricks of the trade. We will also learn what the government is doing to solve this problem.”

Witness List

Robert Hast, Director of Investigations, Office of Special Investigations, General Accounting Office, Washington, DC

William D. Hamel, Assistant Director of Investigation, Office of Special Investigations, General Accounting Office, Washington, DC

Dr. Kathryn Locatell, Private Practitioner, Sacramento, California

Dr. Marjorie Kanof, Deputy Director for Payment Policy, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Washington, DC

Lewis Morris, Assistant Inspector General for Legal Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC