Baucus Encouraged By Program Integrity Efforts at CMS
Senator Hopes Changes Decrease Fraud and Abuse, Says Efforts Are Overdue
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, expressed support for the Program Integrity initiative announced today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and he urged fast action to curb fraud as changes to these programs take effect. CMS announced that it will expand fraud and abuse oversight activities to Medicare managed care as well as the new Medicare-approved drug discount card program and the prescription drug benefit. The Medicare prescription drug benefit will begin January 1, 2006. Medicare-endorsed prescription drug discount cards became available earlier this year.
“Fighting fraud and combating abuse are vital to the strength of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, so I am pleased to see that CMS is taking steps to improve program integrity,” Baucus said. He added, “I am also pleased to see CMS expanding its program integrity efforts to include Medicare managed care and prescription drug coverage. However, efforts to crack down on drug discount card fraud are long overdue, given repeated reports of seniors receiving fraudulent drug cards. I look forward to working with CMS as more detailed strategies are developed, and I intend to closely monitor the success of this initiative.”
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