Last week’s Los Angeles Times and Associated Press (AP) stories on an anti-fraud initiative by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) represent modest progress because they did not condemn the HME industry. What a concept.
The homecare community and AAHomecare have explained to Kimberly Brandt, CMS program integrity director, and the media many times how important it is to make the distinction between criminals posing as legitimate providers and the vast majority of law-abiding HME providers working to serve patients. For once, two articles have correctly looked to CMS as the agency accountable for preventing fraud. Brandt commented in the AP story that criminals committing fraud in the DME sector “aren’t real medical suppliers.”
CMS’s accountability was also made evident in an OIG report (“Los Angeles County Suppliers’ Compliance with Medicare Standards: Results from Unannounced Visits”). http://www.oig.hhs.gov/publications/docs/press/2008/la_dme022508.pdf
You can view the AP article for more information. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/03/03/state/n135311S62.DTL&type=health