Announced in the Wall Street Journal on Dec 3, 2014, the Obama administration has strengthened Medicare’s authority to kick doctors and other medical providers out of the federal program for abusively billing the government.

Here’s a quick summary of the key points / changes in this important federal program:

  • move represents a significant shift in how the government tackles waste in Medicare
  • new rules allow Medicare to revoke the billing privileges of any doctor, medical-equipment seller or other health-service provider
  • before the new rules, CMS could revoke billing only in clear-cut cases of suspected abuse
  • lawmakers from both parties said the changes come as the new Republican-controlled Congress is preparing to make cracking down on Medicare fraud a key issue.
  • the American Medical Association, had asked CMS to exclude physicians from the main billing changes on the grounds they represent a lower risk to the program than other providers. CMS included them anyway

You can ready the full article in the WSJ here.