On Feb. 26, the Senate passed changes that would double civil penalties to $20,000 per false Medicare claim and quadruple criminal penalties to $100,000, according to the Congressional Record. The changes also would increase the maximum criminal sentence from five to 10 years. The amendment was submitted by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) as part of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. The bill (S. 1200) was sent to the full Senate by the Indian Affairs Committee on Feb. 25 with Martinez’s amendments and passed on Feb. 26 by an 83-10 vote. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Reprinted from the March 3, 2008, REPORT ON MEDICARE COMPLIANCE.