ACA has improved fraud detection, editorial board argues

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Prevention, detection and punishment of healthcare fraud cases have improved under the Affordable Care Act, the New York Times editorial board argued in a piece published Thursday.

Citing the recent Miami-area nursing home owner busted in a $1 billion fraud scheme — the largest crackdown in the history of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force — the NYT made the case that fighting fraud is critical to maintaining the public's confidence in the healthcare system.

“But progress against fraud goes beyond saving money,” the board wrote. “Stopping fraud also leads to better care, because billing fraud often involves ordering unnecessary tests for patients and prescribing unnecessary drugs.”

The piece credits the Affordable Care Act with improving fraud detection, as well as the overall financial outlook of the Medicare program, despite attempts to weaken the legislation “as Republicans have long demanded.”

“Medicare fraud is a scourge,” the board said. “But those who would weaken the healthcare system for ideological reasons are an even bigger problem.”