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September 2, 2014

Whistleblower lawyers hunt for fraud in historic Medicare data

An army of lawyers is combing through the massive, first-ever recent release by the federal government of detailed Medicare billing data, looking for clues to possible fraud.

Reuters reports these lawyers specialize in bringing cases on behalf of whistleblowers – employees at drug companies and healthcare providers – who believe their bosses or colleagues may be cheating the federal Medicare system.

For patients, the data offers a rare window into how the system works.

Health care analysts in Minnesota say the new Medicare data has much to tell us about the wide range of reimbursements paid to doctors and clinics that provide Medicare services.

“You can bet we will be looking at it and drawing some conclusions and talking to our members about it,” Carolyn Pare, president and CEO of an advocacy group representing businesses and other organizations paying Minnesotans’ health care bills, told the Star Tribune. “There is a level of transparency here that we have never been able to achieve.”

Managing My Medicare

– So, what do you need to know about Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD.

It’s actually got several parts: Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D—and Medicare supplement insurance.

– Read UnitedHealthcare’s 10 most important things you need to know about Medicare, and learn how to sign up.

Find out how much Medicare Pays For a Doctor’s Care by using this handy tool created by the New York Times.

Here’s a video from UnitedHealthcare explaining more how Medicare works: