CMS answers charges regarding lackluster anti-fraud efforts

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is refuting charges from Senate committee members that it has been idle about Part D anti-fraud activities, according to a news report.

Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), the Senate Finance Committee chairman, and Max Baucus (D-MT), its ranking minority member, demanded in a recent letter to know why the agency has not yet fully implemented provisions regarding Part D program integrity and anti-fraud, waste and abuse provisions, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. The provisions were disclosed late last year, the senators argued.

The agency announced efforts in October 2005, in hopes it would receive funding in 2006, countered CMS spokesman Peter Ashkenaz said. Congress appropriated $100 million for Part D oversight activities in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which was signed into law by the president in early February. The funding allows the agency to continue implementing the Medicare Rx Integrity Contractors initiative, as well as other oversight activities.