I am glad to see "waste, fraud and abuse" being talked about in the debate on health care reform and I think addressing it is something everyone can agree on. I certainly know there are vast amounts of prescription drugs wasted every day by people who don't use them or don't use them properly. Pharmacy staff are all too familiar with the customers who believe that if their copay is $10 then that must be what the drug costs. We also know lots of people will take a few doses of something, decide it doesn't work, and never touch it again. I was reminded of this the other day when I watched a 3-month supply of a prescription leave the pharmacy --- cost, over $800, copay, $3.
A few months ago I saw a "60 Minutes" segment on Medicare fraud --- a guy talking about stealing millions from Medicare by submitting fraudulent claims for wheelchairs, artificial limbs, etc., through a fake company. He said it was like taking candy from a baby. Estimates of Medicare fraud go up as high as 70+ billion dollars a year (that's BILLion). And of course fake 'pharmacies' are right in there too. The report mentioned certain areas of the country, like south Florida, where it's a huge problem.
I think our government should make it the highest priority to go after this stuff. Talk about creating jobs, too --- lets get armies of field inspectors out there! They would pay for themselves in one day. They wouldn't even need a whole lot of training; in fact, people could work out of their homes, couldn't they? They could screen suspicious claims or concentrate on certain areas of the country. They could call up the person on whose behalf the claim was submitted...."Say, did you in fact receive that $7000 customized wheelchair from FakeIt Medical Supply?" If they say no, well ---- boom, that's money straight back in to the Treasury. We're talking about saving billions here. Am I oversimplifying this? I think it would be a blast!