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AMA Provides Recommendations To Reduce Health Care Fraud

AMA Chair-elect Ardis Hoven, M.D. Participates in National Summit on Health Care Fraud

For immediate release:
Jan. 28, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Participating in the federal government's day-long summit on health care fraud, the American Medical Association (AMA) offered recommendations on immediate actions the administration can take to curb fraud in the health care system.

"Health care fraud is a significant concern to the medical community, and it takes resources away from patient care as we work to maximize the value of every health care dollar," said AMA Chair-elect Ardis Hoven, M.D. "Both patients and physicians have been victims of medical identity theft and other fraudulent schemes, so it's important that the physicians, insurers and the  regulatory and enforcement communities work together to tailor ways to combat fraud."

"The AMA is pleased to partner with HHS and DOJ to work on solutions that address fraud without adding unnecessary regulatory burdens to the physicians' office that take time away from patient care," said Dr. Hoven.  "To help combat health care fraud the AMA is bringing actionable ideas to the table that HHS can implement now."
 
"One area HHS can address relates to the growing problem of physician identity theft," said Dr. Hoven.  "Physicians have no ability to control access to their National Provider Identifier (NPI), and the federal government is aware of its misuse by criminals.  HHS can take immediate steps to limit access to the NPI and create a national office to help physician victims of identity theft restore their good standing."

"Physicians are doing their best to provide high-quality patient care in a fragmented health system," said Dr. Hoven.  "HHS should target areas where fraud truly occurs to be most effective instead of adding onerous burdens on physicians.  The administration should establish clearly defined goals for fraud efforts to appropriately target scarce resources and better measure success. Increasing resources for outreach and education to the medical community on anti-fraud initiatives, including a clear set of mechanisms on how to report fraud, should also be a high priority."

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Media contact:
Katherine Hatwell
American Medical Association
202-789-7419
katherine.hatwell@ama-assn.org

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