On April 24, 2013, the Obama Administration announced a spectacular new “Senior Reward” program, which could spur many new additional Southern California Medicare fraud cases.
The so-called Senior Medicare Patrol would offer whistleblowers up to $10 million for exposing fraud. The whistleblower would get 15% of the recovered funds. This is a huge change to the current HHS model, which offers a 10% reward of up to $1,000. The revised program is modeled after an IRS program, which has helped that agency collect nearly $2 billion in fraud over the past 10 years.
Since 1997, the Senior Medicare Patrol has generated 7,000 plus referrals to the Office of the Inspector General and the CMS. In just the last three years alone, the Obama Administration has cracked down hard and managed to re-collect nearly $15 billion stolen from Medicare’s coffers. Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, stated the President’s intentions in clear language: “President Obama has made the elimination of fraud, waste and abuse, particularly in healthcare, a top priority for the administration.”