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Medical Fraud A Growing Problem

We all want effective government, not just small government. When fraud occurs, all taxpayers end up paying. According to a recent news item in the Washington Post:

"All it took to bilk the federal government out of $105 million was a laptop computer. From her Mediterranean-style townhouse, a high school dropout named Rita Campos Ramirez orchestrated what prosecutors call the largest health-care fraud by one person. Over nearly four years, she electronically submitted more than 140,000 Medicare claims for unnecessary equipment and services... the simplicity of Campos Ramirez's scheme underscores the scope of the growing fraud problem and the need to devote more resources to theft prevention. Law enforcement authorities estimate that health-care fraud costs taxpayers more than $60 billion each year."

To combat the problem, authorities have formed a Washington-based strike force, which works with a small group of U.S. attorney's offices. This strike force has opened in the past year about 900 criminal investigations and convicted 560 defendants in health-care fraud offenses across the country. But there's lots more to do.

Will Ramirez serve jail time? Yes, but:

Sentenced to 10 years, Campos Ramirez, 60, may yet reduce her prison term by helping authorities unwind "the large web of medical clinics, doctors, nurses, money laundering companies and HIV clinic financiers who participated in this massive fraud," prosecutors wrote earlier this year in court papers.

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Identity Theft Secrets

Identity theft through medical records is one of the least reported or investigated identity theft crimes, but can also be the most far reaching. Not only are your finances and personal information at risk, but your medical records as well as insurance opportunities. What happens if someone steals your identity through medical records and because of the prevalent use of transferring records a false history or even false blood type is reported, placing your health and even life in serious danger.

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