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Miami site of first fraud ‘summit’

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6/8/2010 © Health News Florida

Miami will be the site of the first regional health-fraud prevention "summit" for a wide range of players in the crackdown effort, including senior citizens,  organized crime, according to a letter today from federal officials to state attorneys general.

The Miami summit, set for July 16, will be followed by events in other cities that are hotspots for Medicare and Medicaid fraud, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Detroit, Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

Those invited -- regional, state and federal law-enforcement officials; doctors and hospital executives; local businesses; caregivers and senior citizens themselves -- will participate in a day of panels and training sessions, the letter says. It was signed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and was addressed to all of the states' attorneys general, including Florida's Bill McCollum.

The letter asks that they conduct an outreach campaign to senior citizens warning of con artists who might try to swindle them in connection with the $250 rebate checks that will go out soon to Medicare beneficiaries who had heavy prescription expenses that weren't covered by their drug plan.

The letter notes that the new federal health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, provides new tools against health fraud, including enhanced information technology to track and prevent fraud.

--Questions or comments may be addressed toCarol Gentry, Editor.