Regarding teaching medical students about Medicare and Medicaid fraud ( Modern Physician, Oct. 25):
I am an active medical student lobbyist and this topic has been of concern to me for some time. But, more important, I am concerned with the lack of oversight by the government regarding how much each person enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid is consuming. I have seen more than one patient visit two different hospitals and get the exact same workup. This to me is fraud and this is why the government is bad at healthcare. If we want to continue caring for the poor and elderly, someone needs to monitor how much people are consuming.
One way this could have been addressed is by the government instituting their own electronic medical records for Medicare and Medicaid patients and not just paying doctors and hospitals to adopt their own. The government could collect good quality data on epidemiology, and we could have some sense of what people were getting sick from and what needs to be addressed for the population as a whole.
But of course, they go the convoluted route, try to “reform” healthcare and as a result, end up with more doctors refusing to see patients on Medicare and Medicaid because they simply cannot sustain their practice and pay their employees with this kind of subpar payment system. So your article asks if we know about fraud. We do. But I’m convinced consumption without oversight is the real culprit and will drown any hopes for a rational healthcare system in the future.
Molly Maloof Medical student University of Illinois College of Medicine