Combating fraud in health care: an essential component of any cost containment strategy

Health Aff (Millwood). Sep-Oct 2009;28(5):1351-6. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.5.1351.


Federal health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, are under attack by dishonest people who lie to the government and exploit its programs to steal taxpayers' money. The full extent of health care fraud cannot be measured precisely. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that fraudulent billings to public and private health care programs are 3-10 percent of total health spending, or $75-$250 billion in fiscal year 2009. Successful efforts to stop such abuses, without unduly burdening legitimate providers, require aggressive, innovative, and sustained attention to protect taxpayers and beneficiaries.

MeSH terms

  • Cost Control / methods
  • Fraud / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Fraud / prevention & control*
  • Government Agencies
  • Government Programs*
  • Health Care Costs
  • United States