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Re: Scam of the day, Health Care Fraud
Chapman, Spira & Carson - Disscusion

From: Illinois Attorney General
Date: 4/24/99
Time: 12:05:26 PM
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Attorneys General From Across Country Meet in Chicago to Attack Emerging Problem of Health Care Fraud April 21, 1999

CHICAGO, April 20 /PRNewswire/ via NewsEdge Corporation -- Attorneys General across the country will throw the spotlight on the emerging problem of health care fraud Wednesday at a one-day hearing hosted by Attorney General Jim Ryan.

Ryan's office is recognized as a leader in the fight against health care fraud after it created a health care bureau and hotline that quickly gained national attention. Other states seeking to attack the problem are hoping to gather information at the hearing to launch future initiatives.

"Attorneys General are recognizing the important role we can play in protecting patients from fraud and abuse while at the same time not trampling providers' right to legitimately control medical costs," Attorney General Ryan said. "It's a balance we need to strike."

The all-day hearing at the Holiday Inn-Merchandise Mart in Chicago is sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General's Presidential Initiative on Health Care Fraud & Elder Abuse. Ryan is co-chair of NAAG'S Health Care Fraud & Elder Abuse Task Force. Focusing on health care fraud in the context of managed care, the hearing will feature consumer testimony and expert witnesses from across the country who will provide vital information including how the industry works, legislative initiatives to regulate the industry and how to provide for consumer protection. Attorneys General will also present testimony about the traditional role held by states in protecting consumers from fraud.

"When Attorneys General are able to band together, we become a significant force against injustice," Ryan said. "This hearing will further energize the states to attack the problems of health care fraud head on."

The hearing will be in the Sauganash East Room, Wednesday, April 21. The schedule is as follows:

9 a.m. Welcome 9:15 Panel on Heath Plans and Government Payers. Witnesses will discuss how government and private managed care plans are victims of health care fraud.

10:15 State Highlight: Nevada

10:30 Panel on Consumers and Health Care Providers. Witnesses will discuss the shift toward managed care and consumer concerns raised including quality of care, the potential for fraud and misleading marketing practices.

11:45 State Highlight: Connecticut

Noon Press Announcement. Attorneys General will discuss the importance of the state's role in protecting consumers, government and business from health care related fraud.

1:00 State Highlight: Maryland

1:15 Panel on Policy Implications. Witnesses will discuss policy implications raised by the issues discussed in previous sessions and the role of attorneys general in bringing about change through regulation and legislation.

3 p.m. Meeting Adjourns

The hearing will be the second in a series to be held by NAAG across the country. In addition to public hearings, the Health Care Fraud & Elder Abuse Task Force is working on consumer advocacy programs, case-law development and technical assistance on federal legislation. Earlier this month, attorneys general nationwide signed a letter sent to Congress urging federal legislators to recognize the states' role and right to protect their citizens from fraud while ensuring patient rights. The letter included a National Association of Attorneys General Resolution on States Rights to Protect Consumers of Health Care adopted last year.

Ryan's staff will detail the enormous success of Illinois' newly created Health Care Fraud Bureau. In October, Ryan became the second Attorney General to bring the issue of health care fraud to the forefront by creating the bureau and statewide Health Care Fraud Hotline. Since then his team of attorneys and special health care mediators have logged more than 1,200 complaints resulting in more than 1,000 mediation cases opened. Ryan's staff will share many success stories at the hearing and explain that the bureau has had about a 75 percent success rate amicably settling consumer disputes -- saving Illinois consumers more than $500,000.

Other state health care related initiatives to be highlighted include:

-- Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth's Medicaid Fraud Control

Unit's efforts to uncover a complex scam that defrauded the state of

Florida out of nearly $1 million.

-- Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's Health Insurance

Consumer Advocacy program working to ensure that consumers receive the

full scope of their insurance benefits and identifying any patterns in

denial of service.

-- Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon's efforts to obtain a restraining

order against a company selling a knock-off impotence treatment called

"Vaegra."

-- Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm's efforts in reaching an

agreement with a health care group to improve the quality of care for

residents in nursing homes.

SOURCE Illinois Attorney General's Office

/CONTACT: Lori Corral of the Illinois Attorney General's Office, 312-814-2518/

[Copyright 1999, PR Newswire]


Last changed: March 17, 2000