Medicare Prevention of Fraud & Waste

Fraud, waste, and abuse are growing problems within both Social Security and Medicare and TSCL believes that the government is not administering the necessary oversight to ensure that scarce program dollars are being spent properly. By increasing efforts to fight fraud, the government could save tens of billions of dollars each year, reducing the need for benefit cuts.

Fraud within Medicare costs the federal government an estimated $60 billion to $90 billion each year, and according to the Attorney General’s office, enforcement efforts have yielded an impressive “return on investment” for the American taxpayer. For every dollar spent fighting fraud, approximately $7 has been recovered and returned.

Social Security’s Disability Insurance program is also littered with waste. In recent years, the Social Security Administration has allowed an enormous backlog for Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) to accumulate and increased funding could result in significant savings. According to the Social Security Advisory Board, every $1 spent on CDRs returns $9 to the program, and if Congress were to appropriate additional funding for them, the program could expect to see as much as $12 billion in savings.

It is well understood that the failure to manage fraud results in higher taxes for all and higher premiums for Medicare beneficiaries. The potential for savings for Social Security and Medicare are enormous, and TSCL sincerely hopes that lawmakers will increase preventive efforts in order to ensure that scarce program dollars are appropriately spent.