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Obama Admin. Partners with Health Insurers to Prevent Fraud

Tom Williams/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration is partnering with major insurers in the fight against health care fraud, announcing plans today to share billing information in an effort to identify trends and halt scams.

“Lots of the fraudsters have used our fragmented health care system to their advantage,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters today at a White House event with insurance executives. “By sharing information across payers we can bring this potentially fraudulent activity to light.”

The federal government, state investigators, and major insurers will share data and best practices to try to prevent billions of dollars in questionable payments and safeguard taxpayer resources, the administration announced.

“We will work to develop and disseminate best practices, to educate health care professionals and consumers on ways to identify and stop fraud, and to open an ongoing dialogue about the emerging trends and evolving threats throughout the healthcare marketplace,” Attorney General Eric Holder explained.

In the past, Sebelius said, the government followed the “pay-and-chase” model, paying claims first and later tracking down the ones that were fraudulent. “The money was already out the door,” she said. “Now we’re taking away the crooks’ head start.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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